Muchnick Op-Ed in Daily Cal on Public Records Act Lawsuit For Documents in 2014 Ted Agu Football Death

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The Daily Californian, the Berkeley campus newspaper, last week covered, at, our Public Records Act lawsuit against the University of California.

Today the Daily Cal published our op-ed essay about the case, under the headline “Lawsuit against UC regents emblematic of issues facing college football,

Concussion Inc. will have the full text as soon as the piece cycles off the newspaper’s main opinion page.


A UC Berkeley spokesperson called my lawsuit “without merit,” but on a purely technical level, I doubt that the courts will agree. My complaint meticulously documents months of delay, obfuscation and manipulation on the part of the Public Records Act compliance office. For example, legitimate student privacy exemptions should be met with targeted redactions, not with wholesale withholding of pertinent documents. My litigation arrives at a moment when the California Newspaper Publishers Association has renewed efforts to get the state legislature to close loopholes in the act that impede access to public agency records and enable such nontransparency.

And, of course, the quest to get to the bottom of the Ted Agu story is no purely technical matter; it is an emblematic, if still largely ignored, illustration of the abuses of the college football industry at the world’s greatest public university.

When a scandal-plagued football program is the tail-wagging dog at red-state institutions such as Penn State University and Baylor University, the dynamics are familiar. When the same thing is shown to be happening at UC Berkeley, the invitation to take a closer look at this sport’s fraught future intensifies.



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.

“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