Saturday, July 2, 2016

Berkeley Football Follow-Up

We posted yesterday about the concerns of the Berkeley Faculty Assn. related to its football program. Here is a follow up:

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks ordered a new investigation Friday into Cal football’s strength and conditioning program in light of a Chronicle report showing that football staff had personal ties to previous investigators and helped select athletes to be interviewed.

Dirks announced his decision Friday in response to a request from the Berkeley Faculty Association a day earlier that he not renew the $150,000 annual contract of Cal’s popular football strength and conditioning coach Damon Harrington until a new investigation could resolve whether the coach’s actions contributed to the death of one player in 2014 and the hospitalization of another in 2013.

Yet Dirks’ letter did not address Harrington’s contract, which was up for renewal Friday, leaving its fate unclear. Nor did the letter say whether the new investigation would review Harrington’s role in the incidents, and the omission left faculty leaders dissatisfied.

“While I am gratified that the chancellor is taking the matter seriously, I am disappointed that the new investigation he proposes is confined to (assessing the current program) and not the culpability of coach Harrington,” said sociology Professor Michael Burawoy, co-chair of the Faculty Association, who signed the letter to Dirks. “It suggests that the university is in thrall to its athletics department, or more precisely, the revenue it is supposed to bring.”...

Full story at

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