Gary Barta’s 17 years with Iowa blemished by lawsuit settlements and controversies

University of Iowa's athletic director Gary Barta says he will retire this summer.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Retiring Director of Athletics Gary Barta’s career accomplishments were mirrored by controversies her oversaw.

In total, the department paid out about $11 million in four discrimination lawsuits.

The largest was the $6.5 million paid to former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum and her partner Jane Meyer, who alleged gender discrimination.

Others included the nearly $200,000 paid to volunteer track coach Mike Scott and $400,000 over a Title IX claim from the women’s swim team in 2021.

The most recent settlement totaled $4.2 million, given to a group of former football players who alleged racial discrimination. UI fired strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle in 2020, and attempted to affect lasting change.

“It’s easy to say racism is horrible,” Barta said through tears in 2020. “But the subtleties of learning from colleagues and friends and student-athletes about what it’s like to go through that is impactful.”

Initially, UI was only going to cover about half of that settlement before Pres. Barbara Wilson said the university would foot the enitre bill.

Fans and public officials were still not convinced Barta should have kept his job.