Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says the Hawkeyes off-season conditioning program is safe. Ferentz spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday since 13 players were hospitalized after taking part in the workouts. Ferentz says the workouts are designed to be rigorous and to be safe and he feels that’s the case here.
The players developed a muscle disorder after the workouts and while Ferentz hopes a cause will eventually be discovered it is not the fault of the players. Ferentz says he is not aware of anything that would suggest the players did anything wrong to put themselves in harms way.
Ferentz says the conditioning program is not punitive in nature. He says strength coach Chris Doyle was quoted as saying “we’ll see who wants to be here.” Ferentz says he was not at the meeting where Doyle mad the statement, but he says it is accurate and he has used the words and will use them in the future.
“Every day I come to work that’s something a I give consideration to, you know what we do here is very competitive and it requires an awful lot of hard work,” Ferentz says. He says he does not want to work with people who aren’t committed to hard work, because that’s what it takes to be successful.
Ferentz says the workout, which had an emphasis on squats, has been used on three other occasions during his time as the Iowa coach. He says they’ve done something of an equal challenge other times and now they need to find out why this was different. Ferentz says they will not repeat the workout unless they find there was some factor that caused the problems.