Ferentz: Players, Coaches Should 'Grow And Learn'

John Bohnenkamp

Kirk Ferentz said on Thursday night that it's important for his team, and his staff, to "grow and learn" from the discussions about racism and equality in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Ferentz, Iowa's football coach, appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday, three days after speaking to his team on a video conference call.

"I think there was some great conversation, great discourse back and forth — coaches to coaches, coaches with players," Ferentz said to host Scott Van Pelt. "A lot of individual phone calls. Just trying to see what we can do to help move forward as a team and then most importantly, just all of our players continue to grow. Players and coaches, everybody involved, grow and learn.

"The best thing about sports is just what you mentioned — for any good team to be successful, they have to exchange ideas. And the key thing, I think, is being respectful of each other.  And I think, probably, we could learn a lot in society just from teams that really do things right and function well together."

Ferentz and his team have not been together as a team since March 13. There was no spring practice because of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the closure of Iowa's campus.

The Hawkeyes will get together, beginning Monday, for voluntary workouts.

Ferentz said there will be a time for football.

"But there's a lot more going on right now, I think, that's more important," Ferentz said. "That all starts with listening, talking, talking candidly and listening to each other."