San Francisco Chronicle Reporters May Also Have Received UC Berkeley Public Records Act Materials That Were Withheld For Nearly a Year from Concussion Inc.

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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


We have already reported that the Daily Cal, the campus newspaper at the University of California-Berkeley, received in May of last year, from the California Public Records Act (PRA) compliance office, a copy of the 2013 police incident report concerning the criminal beating of one player by another following a punishment drill directed by Damon Harrington, the strength and conditioning assistant of now-fired head football coach Sonny Dykes. Concussion Inc. had requested the same document a month earlier, in April 2016 — yet the PRA office withheld it from this reporter until February 2017.

Now new records have emerged showing that two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, through the same period, were also making PRA requests that tracked ours in the matter of the J.D. Hinnant attack on Fabiano Hale and the possible link of that incident, in terms of complaints about Harrington’s coaching methods, to the death three months later of Ted Agu.

On May 4, 2016, Chronicle reporter Kimberly Veklerov asked the PRA office for:


“1. All written or electronic communications mentioning Cal Football’s head strength and conditioning coach Damon Harrington to or from any of the following current or former UC Berkeley employees: John Wilton, Solly Fulp, Sandy Barbour, Bob Jacobson, Sonny Dykes, Damon Harrington from Jan. 1 2013 through the fulfillment of this request.

2. All correspondence between any student or students and any UC Berkeley employee regarding complaints about Damon Harrington, from Jan. 1 2013 through the fulfillment of this request.

3. All reports or reviews of Damon Harrington, from Jan. 1 2013 through the fulfillment of this request.”


On May 18, 2016, Chronicle reporter Nanette Asimov asked the PRA office for:


“UC Berkeley police report of its investigation into campus locker room fight in November 2013, case no. 13-04226.”


Facsimile copies of these requests are viewable at

Neither Chronicle reporter responded to last Friday’s email queries by Concussion Inc.

We would not ask a journalist to reveal confidential sources. We asked about these PRA office records because they are public records and because the sequence of events potentially impacts this reporter’s dispute with the office, which may be headed to state court.



“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