Concussion Inc. to Court: University of California Failure to Explain Why It Shouldn’t Produce Index of Documents on Ted Agu Football Death Adds Up to ‘Unfulfilled Promises’

Published April 9th, 2018, Uncategorized

“In a feeble attempt to avoid public accountability for payment of $4.75 million to settle a lawsuit for the negligent death of a student-athlete in the Cal Golden Bears intercollegiate football strength and conditioning program, Respondent UC Regents (‘Respondent’) has misrepresented the pre-litigation communications of the parties and made overbroad claims of privacy exemptions under the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, et seq. (‘FERPA’) to justify its refusal to produce a Vaughn Index (‘Vaughn’) that would enable Petitioner and this Court to evaluate the legality of Respondent’s meager document disclosures under the California Public Records Act.”

 

So begins Concussion Inc.’s response to a motion for a protective order filed two weeks ago by the University of California Regents in our California Public Records Act (CPRA) case for internal documents relating to the 2014 death of UC Berkeley football player Ted Agu.

The university has argued in Alameda County Superior Court that the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act prevents it from producing an index listing withheld documents and accompanying claims for their exemptions from release under CPRA. Indeed, in court on February 27, UC counsel Michael Goldstein told Judge Kimberly E. Colwell that he could not divulge the number of documents in dispute or even a general idea of the number of documents in dispute; he promised to reveal why in the upcoming brief.

Our attorney Roy S. Gordet writes: “To the extent that the Court might have been puzzled or even intrigued by this promise, Petitioner points out that Respondent has not included a single word, no less a complete argument, addressing this novel and intuitively absurd position.”

Gordet concludes by saying Irvin Muchnick seeks “to obtain documents that will further the common good and make transparent the conduct of public institutions…. No doubt administrators at the vortex of recent scandals involving student athletes at universities like Baylor University, Penn State University and Michigan State University [also] wanted to prevent the disclosure of documents exposing how those administrators handled those incidents.”

The next posts will have full texts of the brief and of the supporting declarations of Muchnick and Gordet. Here are links to the facsimiles of the new round of pleadings:

Concussion Inc. brief,  http://muchnick.net/responsebriefucvaughn.pdf

Muchnick declaration, http://muchnick.net/muchnickdecucvaughn.pdf

Gordet declaration, http://muchnick.net/gordetdecucvaughn.pdf

UC Regents brief, http://muchnick.net/ucvaughnbrief.pdf

 

==========

 

Concussion Inc.’s ebook THE TED AGU PAPERS: A Black Life That Mattered — And the Secret History of a Covered-Up Death in University of California Football is available on Kindle-compatible devices at http://amzn.to/2aA2LDl. All royalties are being donated to sickle cell trait research and education.

Op-ed article for the Daily Californian on my Public Records Act lawsuit: http://www.dailycal.org/2017/04/25/lawsuit-uc-regents-emblematic-issues-facing-college-football/

“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,” http://concussioninc.net/?p=10931

Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series: http://concussioninc.net/?p=10877