LB coach Wallace now defendant in ex-Iowa players’ lawsuit

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa linebackers coach Seth Wallace has been added as a defendant in lawsuit filed against the university and coaches by former football players who allege they faced discrimination and harassment because they are Black.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette first reported the amended lawsuit filed this month in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. The filing includes additional accusations against coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.

The lawsuit originally was filed in November 2020. A trial is set for March 2023, with the players seeking monetary damages and cultural changes inside the athletic department. Former players Aaron Mends, Brandon Simon, Javon Foy, Akrum Wadley, Marcel Joly, Jonathan Parker and Darian Cooper are plaintiffs.

They allege they were demeaned with racial slurs, forced to abandon Black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by Kirk Ferentz, held to different standards than white players and retaliated against for speaking out.

The university agreed to pay strength coach Chris Doyle $1.1 million as part of a resignation agreement in June 2020, after dozens 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 that the program’s rules “perpetuated racial and culture biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity,” and allowed coaches to demean players without consequence. Kirk Ferentz made several changes in response that players have welcomed.

In the new filing, the former players allege Wallace harassed, bullied and belittled Black players because of their race, creating a racially hostile environment.

Parker also accuses Kirk Ferentz of retaliating against him after finding out Parker had complained to a university therapist about how he had “grown weary” from harassment he and other Black players faced. Ferentz acknowledged to Parker that the therapist had shared with him Parker’s concerns.

“The conversation affirmed for Jonathan that nothing in the program slipped past K. Ferentz, not even players’ `confidential’ therapy sessions,” the lawsuit said.

Parker also alleged Brian Ferentz used racist language during practice in 2013 while Kirk Ferentz was within earshot. The head coach told Parker he would not correct Brian Ferentz and that Parker should think about his future in the program. Parker transferred.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.