Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand opposes using taxpayers’ money to settle discrimination against football in Iowa

A $4 million settlement has been reached in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the University of Iowa football program. But some of that money will be paid by Iowans. The settlement paid Iowa taxpayers nearly $2 million, something state auditor Rob Sand vehemently disputes. Meanwhile, Iowa State coach Kirk Ferencs said he’s disappointed the lawsuit didn’t come to an end. Although Ferentz and other coaches were dismissed from the lawsuit. A racial discrimination lawsuit was filed against the Iowa State Athletic Department by a group of Black University football players in Iowa in November 2020. The lawsuit against Kirk Ferentz and Brian Ferentz was recently dismissed. Under the agreement, the department paid just over $2 million, taxpayers paid the remaining $2 million, and Sand says this is the fourth anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against the Iowa Department of Athletics in less than nine years — all under the leadership of Gary Barta. He argues that taxpayers should not be on the hook for this mistake. “There is a certain point where the institution needs to inform the public that it is not just a bunch of insiders who are protective of each other,” Sand said. “And that’s what I think the settlement will feel like unless Barta disappears.” The appeals board approved the settlement on Monday afternoon. The council consists of three people. Sand was the only one who voted “no”, and after the vote Sand expressed his disappointment in a statement. “In addition to milking taxpayers, this settlement does nothing to discourage a pattern of discrimination that could cost hard-working Iowans more in the future,” Sand said in part. He added, “That’s enough. Iowans shouldn’t have to pass up the bill for repeated bad behavior.” Iowa State Treasurer Robbie Smith was one of the board members who voted yes. Before submitting his vote, he said, “Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. I encourage the university to re-examine the relationships with Gary Barta, Brian Ferents, and others named in recent lawsuits. Iowans expect better. Iowans deserve better.” Craig also voted Paulson, director of the Iowa Department of Management, yes.” We are not here to make a hiring decision. “We are here to make a decision as to what is in the best interest of the State of Iowa and it seems to me, on the recommendation of the Attorney General, that this is the prudent decision to make,” Paulson said. Take it.” On Monday, the media said: “I am very disappointed in how this legal matter was resolved. However, I am grateful to the many players, parents, donors, fans, and others who have remained supportive of our coaches and program during this time.” The settlement negotiations took place between the plaintiff’s attorney, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office representing the University of Iowa, and the Board of Regents. These discussions took place entirely without the coaches’ knowledge or consent. whose names appear in the suit. In fact, the two parties originally named disagree with the settlement decision, fully believing that the case could have been dismissed with pre-trial bias.” An application was made for summary judgment which determined the reason for the dismissal of the case. Unfortunately, this settlement between the plaintiff’s attorney and the Iowa State Attorney’s Office was reached before the judge had a chance to rule on the motion. We have been notified of the reason for the settlement. As part of the settlement, the named coaches were dismissed from the lawsuit and there is no admission of any wrongdoing. “For more than two years, our program has been unfairly and negatively affected by these allegations. Staff characters and reputations have been vilified by former members of our team who said things, then retracted many statements when questioned under oath, and today we move forward. My focus is entirely on the players, coaches, and staff. As we prepare for the 2023 season.”

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A $4 million settlement has been reached in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the University of Iowa football program. But some of that money will be paid by Iowans.

The settlement netted Iowa taxpayers about $2 million, something state auditor Rob Sand strongly opposes.

Meanwhile, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said he was disappointed that the lawsuit did not reach trial even though Ferentz and other coaches were fired from the suit.

A racial discrimination lawsuit was filed against the Iowa State Athletic Department by a group of football players from Black University in Iowa in November 2020. The lawsuits against Kirk Ferentz and Brian Ferentz were recently dismissed.

Under the settlement agreement, the administration pays just over $2 million, with taxpayers paying the remaining $2 million.

Sand says this is the fourth discrimination lawsuit filed against the Iowa Department of Sports in less than nine years — all under the leadership of Gary Barta.

He argues that taxpayers should not be on the hook for this mistake.

“There is a certain point where the foundation needs to communicate to the public that it is not just a group of insiders who are protective of each other,” Sand said. And that’s what I think the settlement will feel like unless Barta disappears.”

The appeals board approved the settlement on Monday afternoon. The council consists of three people. Sand was the only one who voted no.

Following the vote, Sand expressed his disappointment in a statement.

In part, Sand said, “In addition to milking taxpayers, this settlement does nothing to discourage a pattern of discrimination that may cost hard-working Iowans more in the future.”

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He added, “Enough is enough. Iowans should not have to foot the bill for repeated bad behavior.”

One of the board members who voted yes was Iowa State Treasurer Robbie Smith. Before submitting his vote, he said, “Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. I encourage the university to re-examine the relationships with Gary Barta, Brian Ferents, and others named in recent lawsuits. Iowans expect better. Iowa deserves better.”

Craig Paulson, director of the Iowa Department of Management, also voted yes.

“We are not here to make a hiring decision. We are here to decide what is in the best interest of the state of Iowa and it seems to me, on the recommendation of the Attorney General, that that is the wise decision to make,” Paulson said.

Kirk Ferenc issued the following statement to the media on Monday:

“I am very disappointed in how this legal matter was resolved. However, I am grateful to the many players, parents, donors, fans and others who have remained supportive of our coaches and program during this time.

“The settlement negotiations took place between the plaintiff’s attorney and the Iowa Attorney General’s office representing the University of Iowa and the State Board of Governors. These discussions took place entirely without the knowledge or consent of the coaches named in the lawsuit. The two parties originally named did not agree with the settlement decision, believing fully that it The case could have been dismissed with pre-trial bias.

“An application for summary judgment was filed that established the reason for dismissal of the case. Unfortunately, this settlement was reached between the plaintiff’s attorney and the Iowa State Attorney’s Office before the judge had an opportunity to rule on the application. The aforementioned coaches were expelled from the lawsuit and there is no admission of any violation.

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“For more than two years, our program has been unfairly and negatively affected by these allegations. Staff members have had their character and reputation denigrated by former members of our staff who said things and then retracted numerous statements when questioned under oath.

Today we move forward. My focus is entirely on the players, coaches and staff as we prepare for the 2023 season.”

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