Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ESPN Sues OSU Over Public Records Request in NCAA Probe

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 9:  Quarterback Terrell...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeIn State ex rel. ESPN, Inc. v. The Ohio State University (Case No. 11-1177), a complaint for writ of mandamus filed this week in the Supreme Court of Ohio, the sports broadcaster is seeking records from the football powerhouse concerning an NCAA probe into alleged sales by OSU players of game memorabilia that caused Coach Jim Tressel and star QB Terrelle Pryor to leave the university.

ESPN sued under the Buckeye State's public records law [Ohio Rev. Code sec. 149.43], after producer Justine Gubar's April 20, 2011, requests for documents concerning the alleged NCAA violations were rejected by OSU on May 27, on the grounds that producing the information would violate students' privacy rights set forth in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") [20 U.S.C. sec. 1232g].

ESPN was turned away by OSU after it asked for Email correspondence and other internal and external documents regarding the NCAA's inquiry into alleged actions by Tressel, Pryor, and other team members, including Devier Posey, Daniel Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas. According to an article in The Columbus Dispatch, ESPN also has its eye on correspondence from Tressel to Jeannette, Pennsylvania-based Ted Sarniak, purportedly Pryor's mentor.

OSU has 21 days to respond to the Complaint once it is served.

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