Former Titans Running Back Reveals 'Living Nightmare' In College
Akrum Wadley, a running back who spent the 2018 preseason with the Tennessee Titans, said Monday that his four years at the University of Iowa were “a living nightmare.”
Wadley became the latest player to allege mistreatment by long-time Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz and other staff members. His specific concerns included what he considered verbal abuse and consistent demands about his weight, which "made me very sick daily which included vomiting and my body aching."
Wadley alleged in his statement that on two occasions after practices, when he was wearing a team-issued wool Nike cap, Brian Ferentz jokingly asked him if he was going to "rob" a gas station or a liquor store. He also claimed that, in another incident, Ferentz yelled at him and threatened him when he briefly parked in an unmarked space outside of Iowa's football facility.
Wadley also alleged that Kirk Ferentz prepared notes for him for what to say when speaking to the media, and that Ferentz had Wadley's meal card canceled, forcing Wadley to either have his mother order a pizza for him, or on one occasion have dinner at "a fan's house."
"My time at Iowa has done things to me that I am not going to discuss because knowing how these people treated me and other black athletes," Wadley wrote in his statement. "I am done giving them power over me. But if I could do it all over again. I wish I never played for the Iowa Hawkeyes. I would not encourage any future athletes or parents to send your kid to go play for the Iowa Hawkeyes under that current coaching staff."
Fifth on Iowa’s career rushing list and fourth in career rushing touchdowns, Wadley signed with the Titans after he went unselected in the 2018 draft and was one of the most discussed rookies that offseason. He dressed for all four games, played in three and finished third in rushing with 56 yards on 16 carries and third in receptions with eight for 41 yards.
Tennessee cut him at the end of the preseason. Since, he has played in the Alliance of American Football and the XFL, neither of which completed a full season.