Published September 6th, 2016
Published September 7th, 2016
Published September 7th, 2016
by Irvin Muchnick
Solly Fulp, the UC Berkeley deputy athletics director identified in secret documents as one of the architects of the cover-up of the 2014 death of Golden Bears football player Ted Agu, was given a newly created job in university administration the next year, paying him $280,000 — $50,000 of which was designated as a “sign-on” bonus in the midst of an historic campus budget crisis.
Furthermore, according to campus sources, the Cal vice chancellor who gave Fulp the job, John Wilton, deliberately listed Fulp’s new position with the legally minimum two weeks’ notice, so that the hire would not be inconvenienced by competition with other potential applicants. And just five months after becoming “Executive Director, University Partnerships and Services” — and only weeks before the announcement that Wilton himself would be leaving as vice chancellor — Fulp was given a contract extension through June 2018.
Concussion Inc. acquired a copy of Fulp’s contract, which we have uploaded to http://muchnick.net/fulpcontract,pdf, with no assistance from Berkeley’s California Public Records Act compliance office. More below on this aspect of the story.
Fulp, a former intercollegiate wrestler at Cal, was, along with Wilton, among the top university administrators who spoke with football player Joey Mahalic about a November 2013 teammate-on-teammate criminal beating, which arguably was incited by head coach Sonny Dykes’ strength and conditioning assistant Damon Harrington, and about the Harrington-directed March 2014 punishment-competition drill during which Agu collapsed and died.
Campus sources describe Fulp as an ambitious figure who wanted to become an athletic director; he had been on the short list for hires at both the University of Hawaii and Cal State-Fresno.
Fulp and his apparent mentor Wilton were also both among the Cal officials who told Mahlic to speak with the UC Police Department. Last week Concussion Inc. acquired and published the transcript of Mahalic’s interview by a detective and a lieutenant of the campus force. This information was not shared with the Alameda County district attorney prior to our recent coverage. And discovery and deposition testimony in the Agu family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the university, which settled earlier this year for $4.75 million, show that Cal concealed from the county sheriff and coroner both knowledge of Agu’s sickle cell disease trait and more than 100 pages of documents generated by the university’s investigation of the death.
The campus Public Records Act office has promised this reporter a full response, within the next weeks, to our April request for documents and emails relative to the death of Agu and the concussion-causing sucker-punch of Fabiano Hale by J.D. Hinnant. In addition, disgraced and lame-duck chancellor Nicholas Dirks (who also signed Fulp’s 2015 contract) has promised, but not yet divulged a timeline or details of, a second investigation of the strength and conditioning program — after the first one, two years ago, was exposed as a conflicts-plagued whitewash.
Concussion Inc. is considering state court litigation to compel public release of whatever police reports were generated by Mahalic’s interview with campus cops.
Last week I emailed Fulp with a request for his employment contract. In a reply by Dan Mogulof, the campus media spokesperson, which was copied to Fulp, he declined. I already had submitted a request to the Public Records Act office.
Yesterday the records office emailed me a boilerplate response stating that a search for pertinent documents was under way and could take up to eight weeks. To put this in perspective, I earlier had received nearly immediate responses to requests for the contracts of coaches Dykes and Harrington, which were officially produced.
The request for the 2015 university administration contract for Fulp is now made moot by its leak to me by campus sources. However, there remains outstanding a request for Fulp’s last contract as deputy athletics director. Campus sources say comparison of the two documents likely will show that the $50,000 signing bonus was designed to bring his total compensation in line with what he had been making in athletics.
Yet another set of questions involves exactly what Fulp does in his direction of “university partnerships and services.” Is he, for all practical purposes, still in athletics in the form of brokering new multimillion-dollar sponsorship and “branding” deals with the companies Under Armour and Learfield? And equally important: Is Fulp pocketing — and allowed to be pocketing — “bonus” commissions for these deals? More shortly on this aspect of the story.
“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
“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: https://concussioninc.net/?p=10877