A proposed settlement for more than $4 million has been reached in the lawsuit brought by former Iowa football players who alleged racial discrimination in coach Kirk Ferentz’s program.

The office of State Auditor Rob Sand disclosed the proposal Monday, and he said he would oppose using taxpayer money to pay a portion of the settlement unless university athletic director Gary Barta is fired.

The three-member State Appeal Board will vote Monday afternoon on whether to approve the use of $2 million in state money for a settlement. Sand is a member of the board along with state Treasurer Roby Smith and Department of Management director Kraig Paulsen.

A message was left for Tulsa-based attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of about a dozen Black former players in 2020.

Barta has been Iowa’s athletic director since 2006. In a statement to the appeal board, Sand noted four discrimination cases totaling nearly $7 million in damages under Barta’s watch. The largest of those was $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit in 2017 over the firing of former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum. The money used to pay that settlement came from the athletic department, which does not rely on taxpayer funding.

Barta, Ferentz, his son and offensive coordinator, Brian Ferentz, and former strength coach Chris Doyle were dismissed from the lawsuit last week, which was considered a sign a proposed settlement was imminent.

According to the proposed settlement, some $2.85 million would be divided among 12 players and $1.9 million would go to Solomon-Simmons Law for fees and expenses. One player was not included in the settlement for reasons not immediately known.

In addition, the university would direct $90,000 to support graduate or professional school tuition for the plaintiffs, with no individual receiving more than $20,000, and provide mental health counseling for the plaintiffs through March 15, 2024. The athletic department also is required to hire University of Texas Black studies professor Leonard Moore to oversee a five-year diversity, equity and inclusion plan.

The lawsuit filed in November 2020 involved 13 Black former players including former star running back Akrum Wadley and career receptions leader Kevonte Martin-Manley. They alleged they were demeaned with racial slurs, forced to abandon Black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by Kirk Ferentz, and retaliated against for speaking out.