Trial date set for St. Louis native’s discrimination lawsuit against Iowa football program

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Minnesota Devon Wright (25) wraps up Iowa running back Jonathan Parker (10) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 51-14. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

ST. LOUIS–A former CBC running back’s amended federal lawsuit alleging intentional discrimination on the part of current and former members of the University of Iowa football coaching staff is now scheduled to go to trial in Des Moines March 6, 2023.

Jonathan Parker is one of several former Iowa football players who had filed suit against the University, the Board of Regents, Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz and now-former Strength and Conditioning Coach Christopher Doyle, claiming they were demeaned with racial slurs, forced to abandon Black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by head coach Kirk Ferentz, and retaliated against for speaking out.

A judge earlier this month threw out other related allegations, including those brought by another St. Louis area native, Kirkwood grad Andre Harris, and also removed several co-defendants.

Both players transferred out of the program.

The university agreed to pay Doyle $1.1 million in a resignation agreement last June, after scores of former players said on social media that he had bullied and discriminated against them. Doyle has denied the allegations.

An investigation by an outside law firm later found the program’s rules “perpetuated racial and culture biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity” and allowed coaches to demean players without consequence.

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