Urban Meyer is the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was hired in January and has spent the last few weeks gathering his staff for his first plunge into professional coaching waters.
The big positions like offensive and defensive coordinator were filled quickly. There are many moving parts that make up a football team, though. Today, the official Jaguars account tweeted out the various hires Meyer has made for more behind-the-scenes jobs.
Former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle was one of them.
That name might sound familiar to you. If so, that's because Doyle parted ways with Iowa over the summer. Why now after 20 years of employment? Well, Doyle was accused by numerous players of racial bias.
"Iowa has reached a separation agreement with longtime football strength coach Chris Doyle, the school announced Monday. The agreement, signed Sunday, is effective immediately. Doyle, who had led Iowa's strength and conditioning program since 1999, was placed on paid administrative leave June 6 after a large group of former players had spoken out about mistreatment in the program. Most of the allegations came from black players and focused on Doyle."
Some more info on the nature of the accusations:
"Former Iowa defensive back Emmanuel Rugamba, who transferred to Miami (Ohio), alleged two instances involving Doyle in which he mocked black athletes and, as a result, "made you walk around the football facility on eggshells ... and caused anxiety that could be unbearable at times with your dreams and career on the line."Former Hawkeyes linebacker Terrance Pryor said black athletes had to deal with "many racist incidents" during his time there, including an incident with Doyle in which he alleges the strength coach told him, "maybe you should take up rowing or something you know? Oh wait, Black people don't like boats in water, do they?""
None of this is old news. It happened in June. It's been eight months. Merely eight months after Iowa fired one of their longest-tenured employees over numerous allegations of racist behavior. Doyle is still getting paid by Iowa thanks to his severance package. And Meyer believes he's the exact type of man he wants to help build a culture from the ground-up in Jacksonville. Surely this won't go wrong and all the players under Meyer won't take issue with why Doyle was available to join the team in the first place.
Really off to a strong start here. In case anybody forgot, Meyer was suspended for the first three games of his final season as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. That was after reports emerged that Meyer had prior knowledge of abuse allegations against one of the coaches under him before the allegations came to light and the coach was fired.
It is almost unbelievable that Doyle would go from getting fired over racist allegations to being hired by an NFL team. Almost. We have seen people undeserving of a second chance get one time and time again in the National Football League. It seems Doyle's name can now be included in that exclusive group.
UPDATE: Meyer was asked about the hire in a press conference with reporters today.