Sports Medicine Expert Directing Do-Over Review of Cal Football Conditioning Program Offers No Evidence That This One Will Be Any Different Than the One That Covered Up Ted Agu Death

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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 royalties are being donated to sickle cell trait research and education.


by Irvin Muchnick

In the wake of belated and piecemeal releases by the University of California-Berkeley to Concussion Inc. — showing that the 2014 “review” of football coach Sonny Dykes assistant Damon Harrington’s strength and conditioning program was part and parcel of the cover-up in the death of Ted Agu and the criminal beating of Fabiano Hale by teammate J.D. Hinnant — the focus returns to the second review, which was ordered earlier this year by lame-duck Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and is set to begin work next month.

(Our reports on the new Cal documents are at,,, and

Following months of delays, the university appointed Dr. Elizabeth Joy, president of the American College of Sports Medicine, and Wayne Brazil, a retired law school professor who is affiliated with an arbitration and mediation service, to perform “an evaluation that will ensure the strength and conditioning program goes beyond contemporary intercollegiate standards to become a national leader when it comes to maximizing the health and safety of Berkeley’s student athletes.”

At the time of the November announcement, Brazil did not respond to our inquiries. Dr. Joy did respond, albeit only with platitudes and a perfunctory pointer back to Cal’s press release.

Yesterday I asked Joy whether the fiasco process of the original review of Cal football strength and coinditioning, by UC Davis’s Dr. Jeffrey Tanji and San Francisco athletic trainer John Murray, as revealed in the newly emerging public documents, obliged her to be transparent from the get-go about how she came to be hired and what she is expected to do.

Joy emailed back: “It is our intent to provide a thorough review of the program and provide to the Cal leadership information and recommendations that promote optimal health and safety of players in the football program.”

I asked Joy to disclose the text of the charge she and Brazil were given by the Berkeley administration, and the terms of her consultant contract.

Joy did not answer.


“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