Supreme Court Rules on OSU v. ESPN


One of the leftovers from the OSU scandal is the legal beef between the school and ESPN over public records. After the initial tremblings of Tresselgate, OSU was drowned in hundreds of requests for paper that might spell out a trail of impropriety on the part of players and program bosses. When the school didn't comply with some of the network's requests, ESPN filed a mandamus action to force open the public institution's files.

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on the matter, largely in favor of the school. Legal nerd stuff aside, once you start swimming through the order, you get an idea what the network was digging for, how the school kept some info under lock and key, and what the school now has to hand over.

The first issues the court addressed were the denials of two requests from the network: any emails and docs related to individuals who were banned from OSU players' pass list, of list for game tickets; and emails and correspondences “between the NCAA and Doug Archie or any other Ohio State athletic department official related to any violation (including secondary violation) of NCAA rules involving the football program, since January 1, 2005.” The school shot down the first request for being too broad, the second for being related to pending investigations.

The court initially seems to side with ESPN on this one – they say the school should have worked further with the network on paring down the “broad” request on pass lists. Also, the Ohio statute – interestingly – doesn't contain an exemption for public records related to a pending investigation.

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