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1. Athletic records

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  • Alabama

    a. Athletic Coach Contracts: Jacksonville State University was required to disclose the contracts of its coaches to a newspaper pursuant to a request under the Public Records law. Op. Att'y Gen. Ala. No. 2007-067, 2007 Ala. AG LEXIS 40 (Apr. 3, 2007).

    b. NCAA Letter of Inquiry to State university: The NCAA Letter of Inquiry must be disclosed, but disclosure may be deferred until after the time for the university to file its Response to the Letter of Inquiry. Birmingham News Co. v. Muse [Muse I], 21 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1094, 1095 (Cir. Ct. of Lee County, Ala., Dec. 7, 1992); Birmingham News Co. v. Sayers, 23 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 2473, 2479-80 (Cir. Ct. of Tuscaloosa County, Ala., May 16, 1995).

    c. NCAA Self Reports: The self-report of NCAA violations submitted by Alabama State University to the NCAA with student information redacted was subject to inspection under the Public Records Law. The Advertiser Co. v. Lee, CV 06-900013 (Cir. Ct. of Montgomery, Ala., Apr. 28, 2007.

    d. State university’s Response to NCAA Letter of Inquiry: Auburn University was permitted to keep its Response confidential because “the majority of the statements which are part of the Response were received under express promises of confidentiality,” and that confidential material and information was so intertwined with nonconfidential material that “[i]f the promises [of confidentiality] are to be honored, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to edit out this material and release a response that made sense.” Birmingham News Co. v. Muse[Muse II, 2d appeal], 669 So. 2d 138 (Ala. 1995); see also Birmingham News Co. v. Muse [Muse II, 1st appeal], 638 So. 2d 853 (Ala. 1994) (quoting and adopting trial court’s findings).

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  • Alaska

    Exemptions from confidentiality requirements of the federal law protecting privacy rights of students—the "Buckley Amendment," or Family Educational Privacy Act of 1972, see 20 U.S.C. § 1232g—permit disclosure of certain information relating to student athletes, and other provisions allow voluntary disclosure, for use in athletic event programs, press releases, and the like. In Ericson v. University of Alaska and Anchorage Daily News, 1995 WL 444416, 23 Media Law Rptr. 1724 (Ak. Super. Ct., 3rd Jud. Dist. at Anchorage, May 12, 1994), the University of Alaska Anchorage was required to disclose documents relating to termination of employment relationship with former athletic training arising from misconduct allegations, notwithstanding the university employee's assertions of constitutional privacy interests and claiming the protection of AS 39.25.80, among other things.

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Arkansas

    The FOIA exempts “education records as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, unless their disclosure is consistent with the provisions of [that act].” Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(2). The FERPA includes a student’s participation in sports to be “directory information” that may be published. 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(a)(5).
    “Stat sheets” that detail the scoring at athletic events are subject to disclosure if high-school students’ names and identifying information are redacted. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 2001-150.

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  • California

    There is no specific statutory exemption from disclosure but see below, for exemptions for student records generally.

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  • Connecticut

    There are no specific provisions or exemptions in FOIA on this issue.  There are also no reported court decisions on this issue.

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  • Delaware

    Not specified.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    Public school and university athletic program records are subject to the Act’s disclosure requirements. See, e.g., Cremins v. Atlanta Journal & Constitution, 261 Ga. 496, 405 S.E.2d 675 (1991) (records reflecting the athletically related "outside" income of public university athletic coaches are public records even if the records are not on file with and have never been reviewed by university officials); Dooley v. Davidson, 260 Ga. 577, 397 S.E.2d 922 (1990) (same); Macon Tele. Publ’g Co. v. Bd. of Regents, 256 Ga. 443 (1986) (records showing the assets, liabilities, income and expenses of the private University of Georgia Athletic Association are public records).

    The Act generally requires agencies to respond and produce records responsive to the Act within a reasonable time not to exceed 3 business days from the date of the request. However, in 2016, the General Assembly enacted a special rule applicable only to requests for records, other than salary information for nonclerical staff, of intercollegiate sports programs of any unit of the University System of Georgia, including athletic departments and related private athletic associations. For such requests, the Act now provides that “the period within which any production, access, response, or notice is required … shall be 90 business days from the date the agency received the request.” O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(d.1).

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  • Hawaii

    Records relating to the testing of student-athletes for banned substances by the Athletic Department of the University of Hawaii were partially subject to disclosure. Although OIP agreed that the student-athletes’ privacy interests protected the identity of the student-athletes, the request specifically did not seek disclosure of the names of the student-athletes. The question was therefore whether the requested information would allow the public to reasonably determine the identity of a student-athlete who had tested positive for a banned substance. OIP decided that the number of positive test results was subject to disclosure because it alone was insufficient to allow identification of a student-athlete who tested positive. However, the breakdown of the specific sanctions imposed against the student-athletes who tested positive may be withheld because very few student-athletes received the same sanction as those who tested positive for a banned substance. Student-Athlete Testing Records, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 06-03 (May 9, 2006).

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  • Idaho

    The financial records of the athletic programs of a public school or university are subject to public inspection.

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  • Illinois

    Athletic records, if in the possession of a public school, are probably treated the same as other records pertaining to students.  See “School and university records.”

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  • Indiana

    The Access to Public Records Act does not specifically address such records. However, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, prohibits the release of student-identifying information by schools that receive federal funds. Thus such records are also confidential under Indiana Code Section 5-14-3-4(a)(3), which denies access to records which are confidential under federal law. Additionally, schools have relied on the deliberative material exception, Ind. Code § 5-14-3-4(b)(6) to not disclose athletic misconduct. See Journal Gazette v. Bd. of Trs. of Purdue Univ., 698 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998) (denying access to grievances about alleged NCAA violations); see also Unincorporated Operating Div. of Indiana Newspapers, Inc. v. Trs. of Indiana Univ., 787 N.E.2d 893, 914–15 (Ind. App. 2003) (Most of a state university’s investigatory materials regarding a controversial basketball coach were protected from public access, but a newspaper could access certain materials after student and deliberative information were redacted).

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  • Iowa

    Governed by Iowa Code § 22.7(1).

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  • Kansas

    Not specifically addressed. Presumably open for inspection, but may be pre-empted by federal law.

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  • Kentucky

    Generally open, unless they constitute “education records” under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA], 20 U.S.C. § 1232. See 15-ORD-74.

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  • Louisiana

    Presumptively open except to the extent the records contain personally identifiable information. Op. Att'y Gen. 76-186.

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  • Maine

    University athletic records are generally public. The availability of secondary and elementary school records is controlled by federal law, which generally provides for confidentiality of such records. 20-A M.R.S.A. § 6001.
    Records identifying minors who participate in municipal recreation programs are excluded from the definition of public records if the municipality enacts an ordinance specifying the circumstances in which the records will be withheld from disclosure. 1 M.R.S.A. § 402(3)(K) .

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  • Maryland

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Michigan

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Montana

    Athletic records are generally private unless the demands of privacy do not clearly exceed the merits of public disclosure.

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  • Nevada

    See Donrey of Nevada, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 106 Nev. 630 (1990).

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  • New Hampshire

    Neither the Statute nor case law addresses this issue.

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  • New Mexico

    There is no specific statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • North Carolina

    There is no specific statute that addresses this.

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  • North Dakota

    There are no applicable statutory exemptions.

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  • Ohio

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Oregon

    There is no statutory or case law specifically addressing this issue.

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  • Rhode Island

    There is no statutory or case law specifically addressing athletic records but pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-2(4)(A)(I), any record identifiable to an individual student is not a public record..

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  • South Carolina

    Federal law preempts state law with respect to student education records, but athletic records relating to participation in sports activities is considered “directory information” which may be disclosed. 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(a)(5)(A).

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  • Tennessee

    No separate exemption.

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  • Texas

    Nothing in the Act exempts athletic records, as long as the records are in the custody of a “governmental body” and are not exempt student or educational records. See Tex. Att’y Gen. ORD-447 (1986). In Tex. Att’y Gen. ORD-539 (1990), the Attorney General advised that tape recordings of an interview between public university officials and a former student athlete are exempt education records “to the extent that they contain information about the former student’s attendance at the university. Portions of the interview relating to the former student’s recruitment by the university are also education records.”

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  • Utah

    In The Herald Journal v. Utah State Univ., No. 95-06 (Utah State Rec. Comm. July 30, 1995), Utah State University provided The Herald Journal with information regarding the gross compensation of the University’s athletic coaches but refused to release copies of the written contracts between the University and its head football and basketball coaches. Because the records were contracts entered into by a government entity and involved government expenditure of funds, the State Records Committee held that the contracts were public, and the University promptly released the contracts.

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  • Vermont

    “Student records, including records of a home study student” are exempt from disclosure.  1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(11).  “[H]owever, that such records shall be made available upon request under the provisions of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, as may be amended.”  Id.

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  • Virginia

    No special rule.

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  • Washington

    There are no express restrictions and no case law concerning access to athletic records. Presumably, such records are available subject to privacy-based exemptions for student records. RCW 42.56.230(1).

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    Open unless they would constitute an education record on a student.

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