Cal releases selection criteria for Tanji Report participants

Cal official details the selection criteria for players interviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Tanji for his 2014 report on the Cal football strength and conditioning program.

A UC Berkeley Department of Intercollegiate Athletics official has released to BearTerritory the selection criteria for student-athletes interviewed for the 2014 report written by Dr. Jeffrey Tanji and John Murray (a report attached in full here) on the state of the Cal football strength and conditioning program and its coach Damon Harrington in the wake of the death of defensive lineman Ted Agu, and the 2013 locker room altercation that left running back Fabiano Hale with a concussion.

The document provided to BearTerritory -- and originally to the San Francisco Chronicle -- states that 20 student-athletes from the football program were randomly selected by a computer to participate in the review. An additional nine, who had intimate knowledge of the situations in question, or who were physically present at the events in question, were asked to participate, because of their knowledge and familiarity with the situation, said associate athletic director Wes Mallette.

Of those nine who were asked, seven chose to participate. None of the 29 individuals, Mallette emphasized, were hand-picked, "as erroneously reported in earlier media reports. None of these kids were hand-selected. That is not true."

All names were redacted due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). repeated that the athletic department officials stand behind Harrington and the football staff, who, in the wake of Agu's death and the school admitting negligence in the same, have overhauled the program and brought it into compliance with the best practices of college football strength programs across the nation, Tanji's report found.

“We have stated our position: We stand by our coach and the reviews that have been done," Mallette said. "Our student athletes stand behind him. We stand by our coach. We will not allow ourselves to be derailed by certain individuals who have chosen to express their personal opinion to the media. This is a strong program, a program that is head in the right direction. This is a program that has gone from worst to first in th Pac-12 academically. Our student-athletes and our coaching staff are tremendous individuals, high-character individuals.”

The University states that, in "early 2014," students approached members of the Athletic Department administration, concerned about the strength and conditioning program, including the circumstances surrounding the locker room incident. Then-athletic director Sandy Barbour and Deputy AD Solly Fulp took "immediate steps to address the issue."

Fulp "promptly reached out to the students, their parents and the coaches," and recommended a third-party review of coaching practices. Tanji -- who specializes in sports medicine at UC Davis -- and (at the request of Tanji) independent strength and conditioning coach, John Murray, were tasked with that review.

"This report finds the practices of the strength and conditioning staff to be consistent with health and safety standards in college and university sports programs at the Division I level. The medical monitoring of workouts by the strength staff, athletic training staff and team physicians are entirely appropriate with standards at the NCAA Division I level." -- Tanji Report

"Dr. Tanji and Mr. Murray determined how to conduct this investigation and were provided unfettered access to student-athletes, coaches and anyone they wanted to talk to in connection with their review," said Mallette. "Dr. Tanji and Mr. Murray interviewed students separately, not in groups, for approximately 20-40 minutes each and also interviewed coaches and other individuals involved with the program. The information they provided was confidential in that it was not attributed directly to any individual. In addition, throughout the course of the investigation, additional individuals who were referred to them were also included in the interview process." Top Stories