“eBook Bonus: Introduction to ‘Ted Agu Papers,’ Cal Football Death Cover-Up,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=11359
“Table of Contents of the New eBook ‘TED AGU PAPERS’,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=11367
Amazon Kindle link: http://amzn.to/2aA2LDl
by Irvin Muchnick
As reported yesterday, Concussion Inc. acquired, from a source we won’t name, the transcript of a Cal football player’s interview with Berkeley campus police in March 2014 — a month after Ted Agu died in a bizarre conditioning/competition drill designed and directed by coach Sonny Dykes’ assistant Damon Harrington.
In the following posts, we will publish a link to the facsimile of the transcript, then extended excerpts of the 40-page document.
Here, for starters and in the random order of the police question-and-answer — and with little attempt at thematic organization — are bullet points from Joey Mahalic’s statements to the cops.
* According to Mahalic, Harrington told the team, “It doesn’t matter about speed, doesn’t matter about strength. Only matters about toughness…. So a lot of stuff he does is to make us, in his words, ‘tough as shit.’”
* Harrington’s “toughness” workouts were designed so that they “just really wore everybody out, made people throw up.”
* When Fabiano Hale missed a session on October 31, 2013, Harrington “brought us out in the dark on the field and was trying to make people throw up, spinning around, doing all kinds of stuff that was basically kind of a punishment, more — you know, torture-type deal. And then, after that workout, he brought everyone together and said that he wasn’t going to punish anybody for — for not coming. That we need to punish him, and it [was] on us to take care of it, and he said ‘By any means necessary,’ and by putting his fist into his hand.”
* The strength staff was made aware of J.D. Hinnant assault on Hale the next day, knocking out Hale and sending him to the emergency room. This was on game day. “Hinnant was still dressed. I personally didn’t see congratulations given to him by the strength staff, but that’s what the chatter was in the locker room.”
* Harrington “used language with us that’s inappropriate on — on any level of sport. Any level of sport. [T]alking about sexuality, saying that Stanford has their cock in our ass, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Just stuff that is inappropriate. It’s not just to say to 18-year-old kids but to say to anybody, really.”
* During the fatal February 7, 2014, conditioning-competition drill in which Agu died, Mahalic’s group “was in second place for pretty much the majority of the entire race…. [W]e had several linemen who were in our group, you know, start yelling. Like, ‘I can’t feel my legs. I — you know, I can’t keep going.’ And I remember I told one of them to hold onto me while we went down the hill, and he was holding on and his legs just stopped moving and he dragged for a little bit and then fell and rolled down — rolled down three times or so. And he looked up into the air and we all tried to get him and — and it was like a boxer that had just been knocked out. You know, he was completely not there. Looking up, and almost crossed his eyes in the back of his head. Couldn’t really tell where he was. And so we all got him up — the team. There was no effort made by anybody other than us to get him up. And we had to keep going.”
* “I know that Ted had collapsed several times as well, and there was no attention to anybody. We were just told to keep going, you know?… I didn’t see Ted fall for the last time, when — um, which was, you know, his last fall. But I know that he’d fallen and I’d seen him fall before.”
* After the ten-repetition hill-running and rope-pulling drill, there was rumored to be a tug-of-war competition scheduled.
* Harrington talked to the team that morning: “[H]e said, ‘Ted’s in trouble now. You better say your prayers for Ted.’” [This was at a point when Agu might already have been pronounced dead.]
* At a team meeting a week later, “Robby [Jackson], our trainer, was there, and Dr. Madden [sic — it was Dr. Batten] was there kind of explaining what they could from a medical standpoint. And Damon interjected and said — specifically said, ‘Ted was fine when I was talking to him. He was drinking water. He was fine. We were talking.’ But that’s not what he said on Friday morning, [when he told the team,] ‘That’s a great job. I’ve never seen teamwork out of this team like that. You know, pushing through stuff.’ And then he said — he goes, ‘Now teams aside, we’re a family. We’re all a family now, and Ted’s in trouble. Ted’s in real trouble. You need — you know, you need to pray for Ted. He’s in some serious trouble.’”
* “I know that some people were upset with the medical staff and during our medical staff interview — or whatever, our little discussion that we had a week later, um, one of the strength coaches kept asking a lot of questions and putting a lot of pressure on — on the medical staff when he was there as well, so I thought that was weird.
* More on the Friday “toughness” sessions for the non-travel group. The one Fabiano Hale missed “was by far the worst one”: “I mean, he was just trying to make us — you know, he — we started it off, we all got on our backs and he said, ‘Start rolling. I want to see who was drinking last night.’ So you know, we were rolling 100 yards and I mean, you do that, anybody does that, you know, in the best of shape, best — you know, clearest blood level, whatever, you’re going to get unbelievably dizzy and sick. So um, I mean, stuff like that. We would roll 100 yards, do, like, 50 up-downs, roll 100 back. You know, just do stuff wasn’t to make us better. It was just to punish us.”
* “[H]e called it the Crusade. And um, you know, he would specifically say, ‘This isn’t to make you stronger, faster, better football player. It’s to make you tougher, because that’s what we need because you guys are soft. You’re all soft.’… And, you know, that’s — from — as soon as he got — Harrington got to Call, it was all about ‘This area is so soft. All these people around here are soft.’” The team was said to be “at a disadvantage being in Berkeley because of the kind of people that are around us that have an influence on us and make us soft. So ‘We need to be tough as shit. That’s the only thing that matters is being tough. That’s going to be our edge is being tough. Nothing else is going to — you know, nothing else is going to win games other than toughness.’”
* Mahalic first felt he had to speak up after the Hinnant-Hale incident. “Because what happened wasn’t right, and you know — I — I didn’t see it as the fault of either kid. I saw it as, you know, being bullied by a — a strength guy.”
* Mahalic discussed the problem with his father, a former National Football League player who also went to Harvard Law School.
* Mahalic contacted an athletic department administrator, who told him, “‘If you have anything to say, go to the police. I don’t want — I don’t want anything to do with it,’ basically.”
* Mahalic didn’t initially go to the police because “I didn’t want to get crushed. I didn’t want to be a guy that was going to go to the police and have my name out to everybody as that guy that’s — that’s doing this stuff. So, um, I — I just wanted to see what — where the police investigation [of Agu’s death] went with everything.”
* When Mahalic returned from semester break, he found out that the police investigation of Agu’s death “was totally over.”… So basically after that I was like “Well I — I don’t really care anymore. I’m going to talk to who I need to talk to because this is — this has gone too far. So I went and consulted a Colonel in the Marines who worked here last year who I had taken classes with and, you know, looked up to. He was a mentor to me, and he said he was going to find the person for to talk to.”
* Mahalic spoke with a person whose name is misspelled in the transcript. Solly Fulp is the university’s executive director of “university partnerships & services.”
* “Sully [sic] said he was going to get back to me, I’d probably have to meet with somebody else. And then I met with the AD Sandy Barbour, the vice chancellor, and Bob Jacobson, the professor that connected us…. [T]hey said they were going to, like, get back to me and then they said that everything was going to be totally confidential…. [T]he vice chancellor called me maybe four days, three days later and just gave me an update and said that they’re going to have the third-party investigation go on and see what happens.”
[The vice chancellor was John Wilton, who left that position earlier this year.]
* Going back to the Hinnant-Hale incident, Mahalic said he talked to Hinnant afterward: “I said, ‘Don’t let yourself take the whole blame for this. Um, just tell — just — if they ask you anything, tell them what happened.’ Because I was concerned that, you know, he’s — was going to ruin his life by doing something stupid like that because, you know, that’s a pretty stupid thing to do, you know what I mean? Because we had a guy do that last year on our team and he was gone. He got kicked out of school immediately…. [O]ne of the kids on the team hit Jeff Coprich and he was suspended from the team and expelled from school, like, two days later.”
* Hinnant didn’t say anything explicit to Mahalic about having been incited by Harrington, but Mahalic said “I just know that Harrington was — Damon Harrington was very adamant about saying ‘I am not going to do a thing to Fabiano. This is your problem. You need to fix this. By any means necessary.’ While putting his fist into his hand. And then there with, like, a joke on the team where people would say for the next two weeks or so, ‘By any means necessary,’ putting their fist in their hands. It’s something that went around the team.”
* Other connections: “I just know that it was, like, a torture workout, and then, you know, making people puke, making people scream…. [O]ne kid came, you know, two minutes late to that workout and, uh, Damon would be singling him out. Be like, ‘These are for Nate.’ Because Nate Broussard was, like, a few minutes late this morning. ‘These are for Nate. Thank Nate for these.’ And people are, you know, screaming at Nate. Um, just, you know, calling him out, saying all this stuff to him.”
* “I heard something about a group of guys were out trying to find Fabiano, you know? Like, I don’t — to do what? I don’t know. But I just know that, like, they were out hunting for him.”
* Mahalic said certain people on the team who were close to Agu were so upset about what happened that they left Cal. One, Isaac Lopite, never returned to football practice.
“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=10931
Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series: