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Jags’ Meyer defends the hiring of the controversial Doyle

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Urban Meyer defends his hiring of Chris Doyle, a former University of Iowa strength coach who has been accused of making racist statements, belittling and bullied players.

Meyer’s decision to hire Doyle as the team’s sporting director was made public on Thursday when the Jaguars announced its 28-strong coaching staff. Meyer also confirmed the hiring of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, and former Louisville, Texas and South Florida head coach Charlie Strong as assistant head / inside linebacker coaches.

But it was the attitude of Doyle, who had been Iowa’s director of strength and fitness from 1999 until last June, that caught the most attention. In the past year, many former Iowa players spoke of abuse under the Iowa program. A number of black players said Doyle used racist language and treated it differently based on race.

Meyer said he had researched Doyle, had some intense conversations with him, and was confident there would be no problems.

“I review all of our employees and like I said, the relationship goes back almost 20 years and there have been a lot of tough questions asked and a lot of reviews done with all of our employees,” said Meyer. “We checked that very well.

“… I have met with our staff and I will be very transparent with all the players, as I am with everything. I will listen carefully and learn and there has to be some trust in their head coach.” We’ll give them the best of the best, and time will tell. … I will tell you about the allegations that took place [to the players] I checked it out. I have known the person for almost 20 years and can assure you that there will be no information whatsoever at the Jaguar facility. “

Meyer said he knew Doyle from his time as a Utah coach and Doyle was the No. 1 strength coach, but Meyer was head coach in Utah from 2003 to 2004 and Doyle was there for a year in 1998 before moving to Iowa.

Some of the issues raised by the numerous former Iowa players who spoke out on social media last year were: black and white players were treated by different standards, black players were mistreated, Doyle and other assistants made racist remarks and black players felt they had to conform to certain clothing and behavior. Their complaints prompted the university to hire a Kansas City law firm to conduct an outside investigation into the football program.

The problems weren’t closely related to race.

Former Iowa offensive lineman Jack Kallenberger said on Twitter last June that he retired from football in January 2019 after being desperate about bullying related to a learning disability. Doyle was one of the coaches he named who molested him.

The university put Doyle on administrative leave on June 6th over these allegations. A day later, Doyle defended himself in a statement posted on Twitter, part of which read: “At no point have I ever crossed the line between unethical behavior or racial bias. I do not make racist comments or tolerate people.” who does. “

On June 14, it was announced that Doyle was in Iowa. Doyle, who was the highest-paid weight coach in the country at $ 800,000 a year, was paid a 15-month salary (about $ 1.1 million), and he and his family received benefits from Iowa for 15 months or until he got one elsewhere Found employment, which he did a month with the jaguars.

Cornerback Greg Mabin is the only former Iowa player on the Jaguars list. He played for the Hawkeyes from 2014 to 2016, and responded to a June 5 tweet from former Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels that said there were too many racial differences within the Iowa program with a tweet of his own that read : “We appreciate the opportunities the Iowa program has brought us, but I hope that uncovering these issues can produce positive change.”

Meyer said he didn’t think there would be any problems between the players and Doyle, and that he wasn’t worried that Doyle’s presence could affect the Jaguars’ chances of attracting free agents over the next month.

“If it were me, I would not have hired him,” said Meyer. “I’ll explain again when this becomes a question. I’m very confident that I can imagine that in a year or two we will have the best performing sports team in the National Football League.”

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