From the Knoxville News Sentinel to the Wall Street Journal, other media are picking up on the story. "Unfortunately, that's the way secrecy laws work," News Sentinel editor Jack McElroy said. "Governments find it convenient to err on the side of confidentiality. So one result is that the $5 billion college sports establishment operates with little public scrutiny."
So far I haven't seen any follow-up in Virginia papers, although the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are both mentioned in the Columbus, Ohio, paper.
"Across the country, many major-college athletic departments keep their NCAA troubles secret behind a thick veil of black ink or Wite-Out," the Dispatch reporters said. For example, under its interpretation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, one university wanted $35,330 to provide documents that were free of charge at more than half the 69 schools who responded to the reporters' record requests.
The Dispatch asked 119 schools for reports of NCAA violations, football players' summer-employment, players' "comp" ticket guests, and flight manifests for team air travel. Fifty schools, including the University of Virginia, either didn't provide information or wanted too much money to comply with the request, the paper said. Virginia Tech received good marks on some, but not all, of the record requests..
- The Columbus Dispatch, Secrecy 101 (national schools) and Violations Across the Country, plus a sidebar.
- Knoxville News Sentinel: "UT not only school hiding behind FERPA"
- Wall Street Journal: FERPA: A Law Grows in Columbus . . . And at a College Town Near You.
- AP at First Amendment Center: Report: College sports programs withhold info
- Overview of Freedom of Information on Campus