Cal Acknowledges Liability in 2014 Death of Football Player Ted Agu

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2016

Fans enter the newly retro-fitted Memorial Stadium for the Nevada-California NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The University of California has acknowledged its negligence in the 2014 death of defensive end Ted Agu. 

According to Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle, Cal made its admission following testimony in a lawsuit filed by Agu's parents:

The admission comes after testimony in a lawsuit brought by Agu’s parents raised questions about the actions of Cal football personnel in the events that preceded his death. The testimony, given in confidential depositions, also detailed allegations that campus officials did not provide the Alameda County coroner’s office with all police and medical records after Agu died, including some that indicated he had sickle cell trait — a blood abnormality that experts believe can lead to death under extreme exertion.

Agu died Feb. 7, 2014, after collapsing during a training run outside California Memorial Stadium where the Golden Bears play their home games. 

Cal team physician Dr. Casey Batten told Josh Dubow of the Associated Press there didn't appear to be anything wrong with Agu after he was placed on a cart into the stadium: "He was on the back of the cart, he was talking, he was hydrating, he did not exhibit any labored breathing or other signs until he got to the north tunnel."  

In April 2014, per Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chroniclethe Alameda County coroner's office announced Agu died from the heart condition known as "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or excessive thickening of the heart muscle."

Veklerov noted Cal's admission "does not necessarily signal a settlement," with one of Agu's parents' attorneys, Steve Yerrid, saying "there needs to be reform and meaningful change" as a result of his passing and the circumstances surrounding it.