Four top UNC officials have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed Thursday by a coalition of eight news organizations seeking access to public records.
At issue are records relating to the University’s ongoing investigation of improper relationships with athletic agents and academic misconduct surrounding the football team.
When refusing the records requests made under the N.C. public records law, the University has cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal student privacy law known as FERPA.
- Athletic director Dick Baddour
- Head coach Butch Davis
- Director of Public Safety Jeff McCracken
- Chancellor Holden Thorp
- The News and Observer Publishing Corporation
- DTH Media Corp
- The Charlotte Observer Publishing Company
- Time-Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership
- WTVD Television, LLC
- Capital Broadcasting Company, Incorporated
- The Associated Press
- Media General Operations, Inc.
“We don’t make judgments about who wants private student information or why,” said Leslie Strohm, UNC’s vice chancellor and general counsel, in a statement. “Our duty is to apply the law consistently and correctly. We provide the records we’re allowed to share under federal privacy law, and withhold the records that those laws deem private.”
The plaintiffs, led by The Daily Tar Heel and The (Raleigh) News & Observer, believe UNC is misusing the privacy law in order to withhold records that could prove embarrassing.