Our California Public Records Act Suit For More Hidden Ted Agu Documents at Cal Proceeds, As Player Practice Deaths Continue to Roil College Football

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August 25, 2017

by Irvin Muchnick


This reporter’s lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court, for additional internal University of California documents on the 2014 death of UC Berkeley football player Ted Agu, took another step forward this week when the parties asked for another extension, until early October, to explore a possible settlement prior to the university’s deadline to respond to the complaint. The new stipulation refers to UC’s ongoing work to review emails and documents to and from Nicholas B. Dirks, the former chancellor, as well as “seven other responsible executives in the University of California-Berkeley’s central administration and athletic department.”

The topic of the pandemic of deaths in “voluntary” offseason college football workouts gained new currency with yet another incident recently, this time at Kent State in Ohio. Hyperthermia was cited as the likely cause of the June death of Tyler Heintz. See http://www.cleveland.com/sports/college/index.ssf/2017/06/hypothermia_and_football_a_dan.html.

And as noted here earlier, Damon Harrington, the disgraced Cal football strength and conditioning coach and leader of the crew who drove sickle cell trait (SCT) carrier Agu to death by sickling attack, has landed in the same role at nearly-all-black Grambling State. (SCT is carried predominantly by African-Americans.)

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle, which Concussion Inc. has criticized for cryptic and halfway coverage of both the Agu death and the Cal football program’s precursor incident three months earlier — a player-on-player criminal assault also precipitated by Harrington’s coaching methods — at least is including Agu in its listing of the soiled legacy of Chancellor Dirks, too.

In an article this week on the $434,000 no-work sinecure Dirks is receiving, in between stepping down from the chancellorship this spring and returning to a faculty post in the history department next fall, reporter Nanette Asimov writes:

“Three major problems characterized his tenure: a $150 million budget deficit the campus is still trying to eliminate, a series of sexual harassment scandals, and the death of a football player whose medical condition was all but ignored by the athletics department. UC Berkeley admitted liability and paid the family a $4.75 million settlement.”


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-compatible devices at http://amzn.to/2aA2LDl. All royalties are being donated to sickle cell trait research and education.

Op-ed article for the Daily Californian on my Public Records Act lawsuit: http://www.dailycal.org/2017/04/25/lawsuit-uc-regents-emblematic-issues-facing-college-football/

“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=10931

Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series: https://concussioninc.net/?p=10877

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick