Review 2.0 of Cal Football Strength and Conditioning Program Is Still a Work-in-Non-Progress

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by Irvin Muchnick



On November 1, a legal deadline will pass that few will remark upon: expiration of the criminal statute of limitations for prosecution of Cal football player J.D. Hinnant for the savage physical beating of teammate Fabiano Hale.

This one-sided sucker punch-out had been precipitated by Hale’s absence the previous day from a conditioning-punishment session under the “crusader” tutelage of Damon Harrington, strength and conditioning assistant to head coach Sonny Dykes. The incident, with overtones of a coordinated “code red,” foreshadowed the death three months later of Ted Agu. At the time, charges against Hinnant were “deferred,” according to the Alameda County district attorney.

There is no clear statute of limitations, however, on accountability, including possible criminal charges, for the institutional cover-ups of these related events. For the cover-ups are a less distinct accumulation of corrupt, money-driven, butt-covering acts.

Over the summer, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks of the University of California-Berkeley, now a lame duck, promised a do-over “independent” review of the football strength and conditioning program. The first one, in June 2014, had been exposed as a comically botched whitewash.

Today I asked the chancellor’s spokesperson, Dan Mogulof, about the status of Harrington Review 2.0. “Not ready yet,” Mogulof replied by email.

I asked if there was a new target date. “Check back next week,” he said.

I asked Mogulof to elaborate and he explained: “Co-leads for the review, who have deep medical and procedural expertise, have been retained. A draft plan has been completed. Now, as we are about to launch the review, the plan and the personnel are being introduced to staff in Intercollegiate Athletics. We want those who will be involved in the review to learn about the plan directly from the experts who will be leading the effort. This introductory phase should be over in a matter of days, at which point relevant information will be publicly released.”

For those of you keeping score, on August 1 the spokesperson had said this: “The university is in the midst of taking the steps necessary to launch the review. Meaning that we are identifying and recruiting the appropriate experts needed…. The timeline for execution will be established once the roster of consultants/experts is completed, which we hope and expect to happen in the coming weeks. (It is vacation season and many of the people we are trying to reach are not available.)”

Then on September 6: “[T]he recruitment of appropriate experts has progressed significantly, and we hope/expect this phase of the endeavor to be completed in the next two weeks….”

September 19: ““The review plan is being finalized with our colleagues in Athletics this week. I should be able to send you a copy of the review plan sometime next week.”

September 27: “Not ready yet….”


“eBook Bonus: Introduction to ‘Ted Agu Papers,’ Cal Football Death Cover-Up,”

“Table of Contents of the New eBook ‘TED AGU PAPERS’,”

Amazon Kindle link:

“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,”

Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series:

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick