Sports

$4.175 Million Legal Settlement Reached In Iowa Football Discrimination Lawsuit

A more than four million dollar legal settlement has been reached with a dozen former University of Iowa football players and the three member State Appeals Board met Monday afternoon to review and approve it.

The players alleged the Hawkeye program was a racially hostile environment for black players. State Auditor Rob Sand, a member of the Appeals Board, voted against the settlement because Iowa taxpayers would pay two million dollars of it.

Sand, who is a graduate of the University of Iowa law school, says the only way he’d support the settlement is if Barta is ousted and forfeits any severance pay.

Barta issued a written statement Monday┬ámorning about the settlement. He says the University of Iowa Athletic Department remains committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for every student-athlete and staff member involved in the program. He did not respond to Sand’s call for his ouster. The attorney general’s office is recommending approval of the settlement with the former Hawkeye football players. In similar instances, attorneys have argued the State of Iowa could likely spend far more money if the lawsuit is heard by a judge and jury. Sand says that’s not a persuasive argument in this case.

Sand, who has been state auditor since 2019, has opposed three other legal settlements involving state officials accused of sexual harassment because taxpayers were covering the entire cost of the settlements.