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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa says it won’t pay ex-players’ demand for $20 million

Eight Black former players made the demands as compensation for racial discrimination they say they faced in their time at Iowa.
Credit: AP
Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz speaks during a news conference, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. The Iowa football team took a big step toward improving its lines of communication in the week since the program was hit with allegations of systemic racism, Ferentz and three of his players said Friday. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa said it would not pay a demand from eight Black former football players for $20 million in compensation for alleged racial discrimination they faced playing for the Hawkeyes.

The university general counsel’s office released its response Sunday to a 21-page certified letter dated Oct. 5 from civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who is representing the players.

The players also called for the firings of head football coach Kirk Ferentz, offensive line coach Brian Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta.

Solomon-Simmons’ letter said if the demands are not met by Monday, the former players are prepared to file a lawsuit seeking damages for the unlawful mistreatment they said they endured. 

Solomon-Simmons did not immediate respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.