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Thread: Ex-Iowa RB Akrum Wadley says playing for Hawkeyes 'was a living nightmare

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array title="El-Gonzo Jackson has a reputation beyond repute"> El-Gonzo Jackson's Avatar

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    May 2010

    Ex-Iowa RB Akrum Wadley says playing for Hawkeyes 'was a living nightmare

    Former Iowa running back Akrum Wadley on Monday detailed several allegations of mistreatment by current and former Hawkeyes coaches, writing that "playing for Iowa Football was a living nightmare."

    Wadley alleges that Brian Ferentz, son of Kirk Ferentz and an Iowa assistant since 2012, repeatedly asked him if he planned to rob a liquor store or a gas station whenever he saw Wadley wearing a team-issued wool cap. He also alleges that Iowa targeted him and other Black players for not gaining enough weight during the season, which led to him bingeing on shakes before workouts and becoming sick.
    "I was threatened by Kirk Ferentz that my meal card would be taken away and I will not eat nor be able to sit with my teammates during eating sessions," Wadley writes in his statement. "He did follow through on his threat. I went to use my meal card and it was declined. I had to call my mother from New Jersey at 10 or 11 at night because I was hungry to order Domino's Pizza for me. Or I would have to go to a fan's house earlier at night to eat because there was no way I was going to be able to make it through the next day vomiting, being weak and be able to make it through school and practice."

    Wadley writes that he asked Broderick Binns, Iowa's director of player development, to find him a therapist "because no one in the football program would help us or listen to what we had to say." After meeting with the therapist once, Wadley writes that "she disappeared."
    "No one told me where she went and no one was put in place for her after that," Wadley writes. "I didn't want to ask too many questions because we would get punished for anything and everything."
    Wadley writes that he turned to alcohol to cope because of his experience at Iowa. He led the Hawkeyes in rushing in each of his final two seasons and finished his career with 2,872 rushing yards in 43 games.

    "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 writes. "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."

  2. #2
    The Corn Shucking Hippie Array title="IowaSteeler927 is a name known to all"> IowaSteeler927's Avatar

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    Nov 2014
    The Great State of Iowa

    Re: Ex-Iowa RB Akrum Wadley says playing for Hawkeyes 'was a living nightmare

    Such an ugly situation overall. Some players are sticking up for the program while some are making claims of racism or mistreatment. I don't know what to believe in all honesty. I wasn't there so all I know is the he said she said of it. I just have a hard time believing that it was racially driven. I mean I read the comments by Chris Doyle the former strength and conditioning coach and while I can see why they believed they were racially charged, I can also see where he's trying to mold these kids into being successful outside of football. I mean I'm sure some of you guys have watched Last Chance U and seen Coach Jason Brown on there, he says far worse to these kids but somehow it's acceptable from him because of his background? He says he'll send them back to the hood, threatens them, almost gets in fights with them, cusses them out, etc... His reasoning for his type of approach is that he knows where they came from, and he knows that some of them won't listen unless you're harsh with them.

    I do think Coach Doyle probably should've chosen his words more carefully. As for Wadley's claims about Brian Ferentz making a comment to him about robbing a store because of the wool cap he was wearing, I feel like that could've been made in jest. I mean we make fun of each other at my work. Everyone is wearing masks right now, and some people wear balaclavas so we always joke that they look like bank robbers. Obviously though, I wasn't there so it's impossible to know the context. Only Brian Ferentz and Akrum Wadley know that. With the number of players speaking out against Doyle though in particular I do think it was best for the program to part ways with him. I don't think Coach Doyle is a racist, but I do think he said some racially insensitive things and was rightfully called out on it.

    I just don't think that there's some kind of culture of racism or anything like that, Iowa as a program has always been very much about limiting players abilities to talk to the media and the like because I think they try to keep things as professional as possible. It's been that way for a very long time. While I have my qualms about Kirk Ferentz as a fan, I've seen this man shed tears and get emotional when talking about his players, I've always felt that he has a deep love and respect for them. But again, I'm on the outside looking in.

    I just hope the racism claims are mostly sour grapes and not the absolute truth, but if it is the truth, then things have got to change for the better. I think Coach Ferentz understands that and will make the necessary changes. Letting Coach Doyle go was a good first step. I don't believe he's a racist, but it sounds like a lot of the things he said were pretty insensitive and he'd of probably been better off staying away from saying anything that could be construed as racial in nature.

    As for Derrell Johnson Koulianos and his claims, I don't believe one word of what that dude says. As a fan we all knew that guy was in Ferentz' doghouse off and on. He has made numerous claims since he got himself into trouble during the end of his tenure as a Hawkeye. His most recent one seems awfully convenient. I truly believe he is simply trying to take advantage of the whole situation and use it to his benefit to try and make Coach Ferentz out to be a villain. One last dig at the guy he never liked because Ferentz wouldn't put up with his diva behavior. He never once claimed racism in the past, and now it all of a sudden pops up? If you were making open public statements against Ferentz in the past, why didn't you mention the whole alleged racism thing then? It's hard for me to find DJK as credible in his claims.
    Last edited by IowaSteeler927; 07-14-2020 at 06:20 AM.

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