A group whose mission is to increase diversity in the NFL has harshly criticized the Jacksonville Jaguars and new coach Urban Meyer for hiring assistant Chris Doyle.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance cited problems with Doyle while he was working at the University of Iowa.
“At a time when the NFL has not resolved its problem with racist hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to include Chris Doyle in the ranks of NFL coaches,” Allianz said in a statement Friday. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure marked by poor judgment and abuse of black players. His behavior should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for the University of Iowa.
“Urban Meyer’s statement,” I’ve known Chris for almost 20 years, “reflects the good old boys’ network, which is exactly why the job opportunities for black coaches are so varied.”
On Thursday, Meyer defended the attitudes of the former Iowa assistant charged with racism, saying he had “thoroughly checked him out” along with our general manager and owner.
Iowa agreed to pay Doyle $ 1.1 million in a resignation agreement last June after more than a dozen former players said he had bullied and discriminated against them. Doyle denied the allegations. An investigation by an outside law firm later found that the program rules “perpetuate racial and cultural prejudice and diminish the value of cultural diversity” and allowed coaches to disparage players without consequence.
An attorney for 13 black ex-Iowa soccer players has filed a lawsuit alleging that his clients were racially discriminated against under longtime coach Kirk Ferentz. Doyle is among the defendants.
Meyer officially hired Doyle as Jacksonville’s Director of Sports Performance – part of his 30-strong staff – and said he will support the strength and conditioning and sports training programs. Doyle was Iowa’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for more than two decades (1999-2019).
“I feel great about the hiring, his expertise in this position,” said Meyer. “I review all employees, and like I said, the relationship goes back almost 20 years and there were a lot of tough questions asked and a lot of people reviewed. We checked that very well. “
Meyer added that owner Shad Khan was involved in all of the “high-end settings” including Doyle. Meyer said he was confident the addition wouldn’t be an issue for the current player or potential free agent.
“I have known the person for almost 20 years and can assure them that there will be no problems whatsoever at the Jaguar facility,” said Meyer.
The hiring of Doyle brought back memories of Meyer, who for years protected assistant coach Zach Smith in the state of Ohio. The Buckeyes banned Meyer for three games shortly before the 2018 season for mistreating Smith’s wrongdoing, which included allegations of domestic violence, a drug problem and poor job performance.
An investigation found “a pattern of worrying behavior by Zach Smith: promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, substance abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible violation of the NCAA and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of domestic violence and cybercrime.” published after summarizing research results of the university.
Meyer knew about at least some of the problems and did little, if any, before finally firing Smith after his wife asked a judge for a protection order.
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