“Chris Doyle came to us tonight to submit his resignation and we agreed,” the Jaguars said in a written statement originally attributed to Meyer and later revised to be attributed to Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke.
“Chris didn’t want to distract what we were building in Jacksonville. We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in hindsight, should have given more consideration to how his appointment might have affected everyone involved. We wish him all the best for his career. “
Meyer had previously defended the move. On the previous Friday, the Fritz Pollard Alliance added its vote to those who condemn the hiring.
“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,” the group said in a written statement. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure marked by poor judgment and abuse of black players. His behavior should be just as disqualifying for the NFL as it is 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 precisely why the employment opportunities for black coaches are so varied. “
Culley is one of three active Black NFL head coaches, with Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins. During that cycle, two minority head coaches were hired, Culley and Robert Saleh of the New York Jets, and three black general managers – Martin Mayhew of the Washington Football Team, Brad Holmes of the Detroit Lions, and Terry Fontenot of the Atlanta Falcons. Even so, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week the outcome of the hiring cycle was “not what we expected and it’s not what we expect in the future.”
The Fritz Pollard Alliance hadn’t been alone in looking for Jaguars and Meyer to reconsider Doyle’s hiring.
“Urban Meyer shouldn’t hire Doyle and the media, the league, the players, the fans and the Fritz Pollard group until it is reversed,” wrote former Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner on Friday Twitter. “We can’t pretend we’re making progress and let that go.”
The Jaguars announced Thursday that they had hired Doyle almost eight months after Doyle left a similar role in Iowa after allegations surfaced that he belittled players during the Hawkeyes football program.
“I’ve known Chris for almost 20 years. Our relationship goes back to my time in Utah and he was the number one strength trainer, ”Meyer said in a video press conference on Thursday. “Really, he did athletic performance before athletic performance had a high priority in university sports. So I knew him. I studied it. We were in a relationship. I checked it out thoroughly with our manager and owner. I feel great about the attitude and expertise in this position. So we checked it out thoroughly. Sports performance will have a high priority. … I wanted to get the best of the best. “
Doyle, who had worked as the Iowa strength trainer under Kirk Ferentz since 1999 and allegedly had unusual powers for an assistant in his position, was put on administrative leave on June 6 and signed a severance agreement with the school eight days later. As part of the deal, the nation’s highest paid $ 800,000 per year weight coach would receive 15 months’ salaries and 15 months of benefits for him and his family, the latter ending when he found new employment.
Many of the allegations against Doyle, who is white, were made by former players who are black. Manny Rugamba, a cornerback starter in 2017 and 2018 who later moved to Miami, Ohio, described numerous cases of cultural insensitivity on Doyle’s side in the team’s weight room.
“I was lifting in the weight room and one of the lifts we had to do was open and close your hands in a bowl of rice while one of my black teammates and close friends was walking to the rice bowl and was just leaving the rice station and was at the bench shelf “Wrote Rugamba on Twitter in June. “There was some rice on the bar after the bench. Coach Doyle then says,” WTF is that … clean it up. ” The player walks over to clean it up and walks away from Doyle. Doyle then says, “Why are you going with all this bragging? I’m going to get you back on the streets.” The player comes from a happy home with both parents.
“A separate incident occurred before one of our employees picked up. He asked the same player where he had been the night before. The player said: “My girls house.” Coach Doyle then pulls his pants down halfway to sag his but flips his hat back, sticks a hand in his pants and begins to strut while mocking the player who says, “I was in my house.”
“When you were 18 to 21 years old, you saw how others were treated by walking around the soccer field on eggshells. The inability to be yourself and constantly trying to adapt to Iowa culture created anxiety that could at times be unbearable when your dreams and career are at stake. “
Another former player, Terrance Pryor, said he was faced with the departure from the team by Doyle who suggested he start rowing.
“Oh wait, black people don’t like boats in the water, do they?” Doyle is said to have said of Pryor.
In a statement released June 7, Doyle said he had never “crossed the line between unethical behavior or prejudice based on race.”
An external review of the Iowa football program conducted by a law firm and published in July found that black players often felt they were being treated harsher than white players, and that the program rules “upheld racial or cultural bias and worth cultural prejudice diminished diversity. “Doyle and Ferentz were the only coaches named in the report, although three coaches were accused of bullied and verbally abused players.
Iowa previously admonished Doyle in January 2011 for a 100-squat workout that resulted in 13 players being hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle tissue that can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure. Nevertheless, Ferentz awarded Doyle the “Assistant Trainer of the Year” award at a booster club event in spring 2011.
When asked why he hired someone with Doyle’s track record, Meyer said Thursday that “a lot of tough questions were asked and verifications conducted”. He added that he was “very confident” that there would be no similar problems with the jaguars.