University of California Promises Release of Some Documents on Ted Agu Death in Sonny Dykes’ Football Program ‘Prior to the Holiday’

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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-friendly devices at One hundred percent of the royalties are being donated to sickle cell trait research and education.


by Irvin Muchnick

The University of California-Berkeley has told Concussion Inc. that it is nearing release to us of at least some of the internal documents shedding light on the university’s handling of two scandals of its football team’s strength and conditioning program. One was the November 2013 beating by player J.D. Hinnant of teammate Fabiano Hale, arguably on the “code red” suggestion of head coach Sonny Dykes’ assistant Damon Harrington. The second was the exertional sickling death, under circumstances concealed by the university from the county coroner, of sickle cell trait carrier Ted Agu, in an offseason conditioning drill that was unprofessionally designed by Harrington and unaccompanied by appropriate training staff and medical backup.

Campus public records coordinator Liane Ko emailed me, “We almost completed our review of documents that are responsive to your [California Public Records Act] requests. We plan to release the non-exempt records to you prior to the holiday.”

Cal received the request from us in April. Since then, the university has failed to deliver on several previous estimated dates, the most recent of which was this week.

What remains to be seen — in addition to whatever new information might be in the documents the university releases — is whether Dykes and Harrington will still be around by Christmas. Published reports name Dykes as a short-list candidate for two head coaching openings in his native Texas: Baylor and the University of Houston.


“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