Former Iowa football player Anthony Herron, now a football analyst and 670 The Score contributor, believes that there could be a disconnect between Ferentz and Doyle that allowed Ferentz to not grasp the full extent of the allegations against Doyle.
Herron, who played two seasons under Ferentz in 1999 and 2000, heard "inappropriate" comments from Doyle during his time at the school, he said.
"The strength coach in a lot of major football programs has so much power and so much status and in some ways is kind of unchecked or unchallenged because he's the head coach of strength and conditioning," Herron said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Monday.
"Unchecked power can lead to an environment in a football building, in a locker room, in a culture that can just have things be inappropriate and uncomfortable. There are times where that unchecked nature of it can lead to things making guys really uncomfortable.
"I have no hesitation believing what all the players have tweeted and have said throughout the weekend, what their interaction was. Do I think Kirk Ferentz knew about some of it? Yeah, it would be really hard to believe Kirk didn't know some of what was going on, some of what was said.
"I can accept that he didn't know the extent of it and all of it, because it really is a separate interaction, the strength coach versus the players and the head coach."
Ferentz and Doyle have each been in the Iowa football program since 1999. Doyle released a statement over the weekend disputing the allegations.
Among former Iowa players alleging racial misconduct was Bears guard James Daniels, who played at Iowa from 2015 through 2017 before being drafted in Chicago a year later.