Urban Meyer’s hiring of Chris Doyle is already earning the new Jacksonville Jaguars coach some stiff rebukes.
Rod Graves, executive director of the Frtiz Pollard Alliance, had stern words for Meyer and the Jags, following the hiring of Doyle as director of sport performance. The former University of Iowa strength coach was accused of making racist remarks and bullying players before reaching a separation agreement with the school in 2020.
“At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches,” Graves, a former Jets executive, said in a statement on Friday. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa.
“Urban Meyer’s statement, ‘I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years’ reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches.”
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, named after the first African American coach in the NFL, is an organization of coaches, scouts, and front office personnel committed to equal opportunity in pro sports.
Black players at Iowa accused Doyle of telling them he would “send them back to the ghetto,” among other alleged remarks. An external review of the program concluded “a small group of coaches” demeaned players and “the program’s rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity.” Doyle, 52, later received a $1.1 million buyout from the school, where he had been employed since 1999.
Meyer, who spent Friday watching likely No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence’s pro day, said his staff “did a very good job vetting” the Doyle hire.
The ex-Ohio State coach is no stranger to controversy. He was suspended for three games in 2018 — his final season with the Buckeyes — after an investigation found he mishandled domestic assault allegations made against former assistant coach Zach Smith.
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