Sunglasses with Iowa Hawkeyes Tigerhawk logos Sunglasses with Iowa Hawkeyes Tigerhawk logos are displayed, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at Iowa Style Apparel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 211119 Ironside 012 Jpg

News broke Monday that a $4 million settlement in the lawsuit filed by 12 Black former Iowa Hawkeyes players against the school had been reached and could be approved shortly.

That’s when things started to get wild as it was then reported that state auditor Rob Sand said that he would only approve the settlement if Iowa AD Gary Barta was fired.

“Enough is enough. Clear personal accountability is necessary,” said Sand in a statement to the state’s appeal board. “I will not support taxpayers funding this settlement unless Gary Barta is no longer employed at the University and forfeits any severance or similar pay.”

However, despite his vote on the matter, Sand was outvoted 2-1 and the Iowa Department of Management’s State Appeal Board approved a settlement that included $2 million in taxpayer money over the racial-bias lawsuit.

The lawsuit was initially brought by 12 former Hawkeyes players who saw alleged mistreatment under the watch of head coach Kirk Ferentz, including from his son, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.

As for his demands, Sand pointed to three previous racial discrimination cases involving the University of Iowa that cost over $7 million in payouts, all of which happened under Barta’s watch. He also shared a rather curious reference for how he was feeling about being outvoted on the decision.

“I lost 2-1,” said Sand. “It reminds me of that scene in ‘Zoolander’ when Will Ferrell says, ‘I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.'”

There’s never a dull moment with Iowa Hawkeyes football, except for when their offense takes the field.

[Adam Rittenberg]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to