An offseason of being on the wrong side of the headlines continues for Iowa football.
Amidst allegations that he directly contributed to “racial disparities in the Iowa football program,” Chris Doyle and Iowa parted ways earlier this month. Monday, former Iowa running back Akrum Wadley added to the negativity surrounding the football program with a lengthy statement that made the rounds on Facebook.
In the social-media missive, Wadley, who played for the Hawkeyes from 2014-17, described his time as an Iowa football player as “a living nightmare.” He went on to state that “I wish I never played for the Iowa Hawkeyes.”
Wadley also accused offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, of directing racially-charged remarks at him.
During the winter, the Iowa coaches handed out black wool NIKE hats to all the players. When we finished practice while leaving the field I liked to put my hat on immediately because it was cold and when sweating I didn’t want to get sick. One time when I was jogging to the facility, Coach Brian Ferentz says, ‘Hey Akrum, are you going to rob a gas station?’ I was so upset, but ignored him and kept going. This happened a couple more times in the same situation. The only difference is he said, ‘Akrum are you going to rob a liquor store?’ Those other times I just looked back at him and shook my head because I knew responding to him would result in some type of unfair punishment.
Wadley further claimed that Kirk Ferentz threatened to take away his meal card, alleging that he was forced to call his mother in New Jersey to order Dominos Pizza after the card was declined. He also alleged that he “would have to go to a fan’s house earlier at night to eat.” Additionally, Wadley claimed he started drinking in college to help cope with the issues.
“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. I am done giving them power over me,” Wadley wrote. “My hope is my story and those of my teammates save others from the experiences, truths and mistake of playing under and for a coaching staff at Iowa that did and said nothing to stop the bullying and racism from happening to us under Chris Doyle, Brian Ferentz and Kirk Ferentz.”
As of yet, no one connected to the Iowa football program has publicly responded to Wadley’s allegations.