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IOWA CITY — Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz is “still formulating some thoughts” on the format of his new, restructured diversity advisory committee, he told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
“It was time to reshape things a little bit,” Ferentz said about three weeks after dismissing previous committee members. “And I'm not quite sure what that's going to look like.”
As he also articulated in a letter to parents of Iowa football players, Ferentz signaled Wednesday a desire to “perhaps” have former players with “a little bit more recent vintage” in the new group, but did not rule out players from former coach Hayden Fry’s teams.
Ferentz also is interested in players who “have more direct ties to this profession — college football, pro football.” Asking current NFL players to be a part of the committee comes with its challenges, too.
“We had one or two active guys on it initially, but their time commitment just didn't allow them to stay with it,” Ferentz said.
When the 66-year-old head coach builds the new committee, he will “maybe make it a little smaller” than the previous group.
A smaller group could “be on campus a little more actively,” Ferentz said.
Other details of the new group remain murky at this point.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be quarterly or whatever, but (we) still want to keep those guys close to the program,” Ferentz said.
When asked about a timeline to have the new format determined, Ferentz said “when I’ve got it in my mind” without giving any specific month or date.
“None of us think enough, and that's one of our biggest challenges, especially in season, which is part of the reason I held off until January,” Ferentz said. “We've got a lot going on.”
He also wants to sit down with a specific member of the former committee who he has “tremendous respect for” and “really have a thorough discussion with him.”
“I want to get some opinions,” Ferentz said. “He's got a wealth of knowledge in this arena on a lot of levels.”
Wednesday’s update comes more than two weeks after his letter to parents initially indicating his interest in more recent former players and saying he was “in the process of inviting new members to join the group.”
“They will add fresh perspectives to inform my thought process,” Ferentz wrote in the letter dated Jan. 17. “This is in addition to the conversations I continue to have with the leadership group, which is made up of current members of the team.”
Ferentz told the original advisory committee, which had 10 former players, on Jan. 11 that it was “appropriate time to dissolve our committee as it stands currently” while also “giving thought to how we restructure the committee/board in a way that best serves our program moving forward.”
The chair of the committee David Porter suggested Ferentz and athletics director Gary Barta should retire nine days before his email.
But Ferentz said Wednesday “a lot of guys knew where we were heading on this thing.” He downplayed Porter’s suggestion, too.
“Obviously everybody is entitled to their opinions,” Ferentz said. “I read it and that's his opinion. There's not much to react to other than I have a different opinion.”
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