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Iowa's Culture Is Questioned After Allegations Of Racial Disparities

Comments from former players reach the national conversation.

The allegations of racial disparities within Iowa's football program, made by former players over the weekend, have caused some to question the culture within the Hawkeyes.

Most of the allegations were about strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, with several black players saying Doyle made racist comments to them, charges that Doyle denies.

"This is what it really is, when you talk about culture," Mike Golic Jr., said on ESPN Radio's Golic and Wingo show on Monday morning. "You determine a line, and you set a culture, with what you as a leader, with that person that has a ton of power repeatedly does, creates a space where that's tolerable. When it makes that amount of people uncomfortable, when people think they have to walk on eggshells, in that space, that's where the difficulty becomes. That's where culture comes into play in a term that's negative.

"So, because college athletics gives the coaches and the establishment so much power, and at a place like Iowa, where that regime has been there so long, it affects it even more so, and all creates that culture where one person, what Chris Doyle as one person, might think is 'joking,' is like running on dated software. What he deems as something harmless has set a culture that has been harmful to other people. And that's what's at stake here."

An independent review of the claims will be conducted, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement on Saturday night.

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Asked on Sunday whether there is a "stain" on the program, Ferentz said, "I think the key thing right now is let the process work. Let's let the process work itself out."

Ferentz said he had thought the culture of the program had been healthy "based on the results."

"That being said, every program, every year, it's a new challenge and there's always things to learn," he said. "I will share this with you — the last 48 hours, I've learned of things that needed more attention.

"However you want to break it down, I'm the one who's responsible. I'm the one who's got accountability. We all have ownership, but I'm the one who's accountable."

Ferentz said he was in the process of doing his own investigation.

"I don't feel like my picture is complete. I'm not ready pass judgment on anybody or anything. And I think that's certainly what the committee will do on a different level, different plane. My first and foremost concern (is) my obligation and my responsibility of doing it thoroughly."