Iowa has been the subject of scrutiny over the last week after allegations of mistreatment of black players within the athletic department surfaced on Twitter. The turmoil has now likely led to a promising player’s decision to enter the transfer portal. Linebacker Dillon Doyle, a redshirt freshman, announced on Tuesday that he will look elsewhere to continue his football career. He is the son of Hawkeyes strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, who was recently placed on administrative leave amid the accusations.
The younger Doyle had three starts in 2019, notching 23 tackles in 13 games at linebacker. A native of Iowa City, he was the fourth-ranked player in the state of Iowa in the Class of 2018.
“I’d like to take this time to thank Iowa Football for my time in the program,” Doyle wrote on Twitter. “Growing up in Iowa City, it has always been my dream to wear the Tiger Hawk, and I have taken great pride in representing the state of Iowa for the last two seasons. The relationships I’ve formed through this program will last forever and I’m so incredibly grateful for each of the people I’ve met during my time here. I’d like to thank my teammates and others in the community for the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received the last few days.”
Doyle’s father, Chris Doyle, was placed on administrative leave by the school over the weekend after allegations surfaced of racial disparity within the football program. Multiple former Hawkeyes accused Doyle of mistreatment of black players, including former defensive back Amani Hooker.
“I remember whenever walking into the facility it would be difficult for black players to walk around the facility and be themselves,” Hooker said. “As if the way you grew up was the wrong way or wasn’t acceptable & that you would be judge by that and it would impact playing time.”
Chris Doyle released a statement on Sunday addressing the matter.
“I have been asked to remain silent, but that is impossible for me to do,” said Doyle on Twitter. “There have been statements made about my behavior that are not true. I do not claim to be perfect. I have made mistakes, learned lessons and like every American citizen, can do better. At no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race. I do not make comments and I don’t tolerate people who do.”
Is Dillon Doyle’s transfer a sign that his father’s 21-year run as Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach could be coming to an end soon? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, his decision to likely transfer leaves a gap in the Hawkeyes defense heading into the 2020 season.