by Irvin Muchnick
The University of California yesterday told a state court that it would file an index of internal documents compiled in its defense of Concussion Inc.’s Public Records Act (PRA) case for additional information on the 2014 death of UC Berkeley football player Ted Agu, plus surrounding events.
Agu died during an unorthodox offseason conditioning drill. The incident came three months after another Cal player sent a teammate to the hospital with a concussion — in anger over a missed session under the same strength and conditioning coach, Damon Harrington, and arguably after being instigated by the coach. Harrington was member of the staff of then head football coach Sonny Dykes.
The submission promised in our lawsuit by the defendant UC Regents is known as a Vaughn Index. Such an index compiles descriptions of gathered documents and claims of privacy exemptions under PRA.
The disclosure of an upcoming Vaughn Index was part of a joint filing by the parties reporting to the court on the progress of discussions for a possible settlement of the case.
In related news, the San Francisco Chronicle reported over the weekend that Cal’s new chancellor, Carol Christ, is committed to helping bail out the athletic department’s huge ongoing debt for the renovation of Memorial Stadium, where the Golden Bears football team plays.
The story last Saturday about the tapping of academic funds for a huge football-driven deficit, by reporter Nanette Asimov, notes: “Cal unveiled its rebuilt and earthquake-retrofitted Memorial Stadium and brand-new Simpson Training Center in September 2012. Total debt on the complex is $438 million — a figure the athletics department doesn’t expect to pay off for more than a century.” The financing of this construction project had been based on an egregiously flawed projection of robust ticket sales. See http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/UC-Berkeley-to-tap-academic-funds-to-help-bail-12330822.php.
I call the stadium story related because the taxpayers of California and the tuition payers of the University of California also subsidized a $4.75 million settlement in the wrongful death civil lawsuit by Ted Agu’s family, and the almost simultaneous multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract extension for Coach Dykes — who would be fired less than a year later.
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