by Irvin Muchnick
Unless the University of California is planning a New Year’s Eve news dump, the campus police report on the November 1 teammate attack on freshman football player Fabiano Hale — originally expected to be issued this month — won’t happen until January at the earliest.
On December 4, Cal spokesperson Dan Mogulof told me that “we expect [the police investigation] to conclude shortly.” Fifteen days later, Mogulof acknowledged that he had been overly optimistic: Otherwise, “you’d have your info by now. I am not aware of any new developments and have asked the department for an update on the timeline. I will let you know if/when they get back to me with an update.”
On November 1, Hale was sent to the emergency room of Berkeley’s Alta Bates Medical Center with a concussion following a one-sided fight with a teammate. The altercation was described by some as a sneak attack and in retaliation for Hale’s absence from a weight-training session conducted by Damon Harrington, the strength and conditioning coach. Friends of the Hale family (who are not themselves talking) say that Harrington gave the athletes in attendance double sets of lifting, and told them it was punishment and they could confront Hale directly with their unhappiness over the extra work he cost them.
The Hale side said he deliberately skipped weight training so he could study for a classroom exam. (In some accounts, he is said to have overslept.) Concussion Inc. knows the name of the assailant, who like Harrington and head football coach Sonny Dykes is declining comment.
Dykes calls his offensive scheme the “Bear Raid.” But the university’s defense against the very serious allegations that an assistant coach is implicated in inciting locker-room violence, and that Hale’s family traversed the 75 miles from Santa Cruz to the hospital to support the injured 18-year-old before anyone from the locally based coaching staff arrived, is straight out of the split-T era. Dykes and beleaguered athletic director Sandy Barbour owe Californians much better than this. They also owe everyone a full accounting without further delay.