For the last six months, UC Berkeley personal trainer Devin Wicks has been waiting in limbo as school officials continue investigating his alleged preferential treatment toward Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. A former colleague claims that Wicks offered Dirks access to personal training sessions and a year-long membership to the on-campus Recreational Sports Facility at the school’s expense.
However, what once seemed like a minor accusation has grown in complexity as odd details began surfacing. For instance:
- The former colleague’s employment had been terminated for suspected embezzlement, which may cast doubt over the accuser’s credibility.
- It was revealed that Wick had previously travelled with Dirks’ wife to India, which was funded by the Cal Alumni Association.
- Dirks’ reputation at UC Berkeley is already under examination following a series of sexual harassment charges.
Throughout the ordeal, Michael Weinberger, Wicks’ former employer has stood steadfastly stood by his side. In fact, Weinberger told the San Francisco Chronicle it was he himself that gave Dirks the complimentary membership to the Recreational Sports Facility. At the time, Weinberger believed that greater exposure to the gym environment would allow Dirks to better understand the need more recreational funding.
Taking the matter one step further, Weinberger filed his own complaint against UC Berkeley for placing Wicks under paid administration for a six-month stretch, which cost the school over $53,000—a much more serious example of improper spending, in Weinberger’s opinion.
Weinberger also expressed frustration over Wicks’ treatment during the investigation. According to Weinberger, UC Berkeley has:
- Forbidden Wicks from interacting with the university or the press
- Failed to update Wicks about the ongoing case
- Kept Wick uncertain about his job security rather than issuing a formal charge
As for Dirks, the chancellor admits a close friendship with Wicks but denies any element of indecency.