The Ohio Supreme Court has denied a request by ESPN to order Ohio State University to release records related to the football memorabilia scandal and NCAA investigation. The cable television network wanted records related to the forced resignation of football coach Jim Tressel and star quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The justices say Ohio State properly shielded records as either protected by federal privacy laws or attorney-client privilege. Several national education groups had sided with Ohio State.
Ohio State released the following statement this afternoon:
“Ohio State appreciates the clarity given today by the Ohio Supreme Court affirming the university’s interpretation of federal student privacy laws. Our student athletes are treated the same way as all of our 64,000 students, and we take seriously our obligation to protect the confidentiality of all of our students’ education records. At the same time, the university also takes seriously its obligation to provide public information in accordance with Ohio law. The university provided ESPN with thousands of pages of records during the course of our NCAA investigation, and as now affirmed by a unanimous court, it acted responsibly in responding to the many varied and broad public record requests it received.”
The Ohio Supreme Court decision is available at www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-2690.pdf