The California Golden Bears Athletic Department seems to be firmly standing behind strength coach Damon Harrington.
Harrington has been under fire from Cal faculty after a Chronicle report reflected on potentially having some role in the Fabiano Hale incident and overseeing the workouts that led to the death of football player Ted Agu. Although the university would eventually settle a multi-million dollar wrongful death suit with Agu's family and the Chronicle report failed to gain the perspective of anyone currently employed for Cal Athletics or playing for Cal football, the veracity of that investigation into strength program practices has been questioned by the Chronicle and UC faculty. Nearly a hundred UC Berkeley professors have signed a petition asking for Harrington's suspension, and Chancellor Dirks has relaunched a second inquiry with independent investigators.
Cal Athletics and Cal football players have stood fast behind their strength coach, attacked Berkeley faculty for athlete discrimination, and now it appears that Harrington will remain the strength coach this season at the very least. Ryan Gorcey received an official statement from Cal Athletics.
"We felt it was important to sit down and talk with our student-athletes about where we are, in real time, with this," said Cal spokesman Wes Mallette, who attended the meeting. "we have repeatedly stated that the wellbeing and best interests of our student-athletes -- all of our student-athletes -- is of paramount importance to us. Making sure that our student-athletes know that they are supported by our athletics department is what our department is based on. We stand together. We are one athletics department. We stand united, with all of our coaches, our entire staff, and all of our student-athletes."
"We are still waiting to hear what that is, and what that means, but Damon is our strength and conditioning coach," Mallette said, in regards to the probe.
This tweet from Malik Psalms seems to indicate that the football team knows that Harrington isn't going anywhere either.
Some more tweets from Cal football players on the situation are available here.
Every Cal Football player will tell you Coach Damon would never put a single one of us in danger. He only pushes us to get better every day— Max Gilliam (@maxgilliam11) July 1, 2016
I'm curious how many of those professors have been to Memorial on a Saturday.— Ray Hudson (@rayhudson11) July 6, 2016
First time on Twitter. I never wanted an account, but have to stand up for Coach Damon and my Cal football family. Pushed me over. I'm in.— Patrick Worstell (@PWorstell88) July 7, 2016