Jacksonville Jaguars' Urban Meyer on Chris Doyle departure: Saw 'the distraction' his hiring caused

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday that concerns about the disruption Chris Doyle's hiring would cause his team led to Doyle's departure, which Meyer described as being in the "best interest of all."

Meyer, speaking publicly for the first time since naming Doyle as Jacksonville's director of sports performance on Feb. 11, said the decision for Doyle to resign late on Feb. 12 was made in conjunction with Doyle and general manager Trent Baalke.

"I saw the impact of the decision and the distraction it caused," Meyer said. "The most important part of the organization is and always will be our players, and I just -- we both felt, we all felt, when I say both, Trent and myself, and then Chris Doyle felt it was best, that this team didn't need [any distractions]. Everything's going too well. We hired an excellent staff. We don't need a distraction, and [to] move forward is the best interest of all."

Meyer hired Doyle despite numerous accusations of racist remarks, belittling and bullying players during his 22 years as the strength coach at the University of Iowa.

Doyle left Iowa last summer when he and the school reached a separation agreement after numerous former Hawkeyes players spoke out about mistreatment within the Iowa program. A number of the allegations came from Black players and involved the way Doyle treated them and his using racist language.

Doyle's resignation came hours after the Fritz Pollard Alliance blasted the Jaguars and Meyer for hiring Doyle.

Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves released a statement the afternoon of Feb. 12 that called Doyle's hiring unacceptable, and cited Meyer's defense of Doyle's hiring as an example of the problems minority coaches face in the NFL.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is an organization devoted to championing diversity in the NFL. It comprises scouts, coaches and front-office personnel in the NFL, as well as other sports professionals.