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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Nevada cites FERPA to redact NCAA violations data

Nevada athletics director Cary Groth agrees that FERPA could be updated so that it's clearer. Nevada provided all information requested except data regarding violations in the Columbus Dispatch investigative story regarding NCAA programs. Legal counsel advised the athletic department not to release this information in the midst of the NCAA investigation into a 2007 whistleblower complaint. The Reno-Gazette Journal had also asked for information on the whistleblower complaint through three FOI requests. The university provided the data but cited FERPA and redacted student-athlete names and cited personnel matters exemptions for redacting the names of coaches and administrators.
Nevada athletics director Cary Groth said she was surprised to learn about the wide range of interpretations of FERPA -- the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act -- and that she agreed with the law's writer that it needs to be revamped.

"I was kind of surprised there was such a variance of openness," Groth said, reacting to an investigative story by the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio that reported that many of the 119 FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools use the 1974 federal law improperly in an effort to keep their NCAA troubles secret. "In the article it talks about bringing (the law) in and looking at it again. That would be very helpful, to identify what we can and what we can't release.

"To hide behind the law when you shouldn't, I think that's wrong."
More here.

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