A Wake County Superior Court judge wrote Tuesday that UNC should have complied with certain public records requests filed by media during the NCAA investigation of the football team.
Complete phone records of key officials involved in the investigation and athlete parking tickets — records requested by the The Daily Tar Heel, the (Raleigh) News & Observer and other media — should have been released, wrote Judge Howard Manning, who heard arguments from both UNC and media lawyers Friday.
The University withheld the information because officials said it was shielded by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects an individual student’s academic record. That law was being interpreted too broadly by the University, Manning wrote.
Records ruled unprotected under FERPA
1. Unredacted phone records for Athletic Director Dick Baddour, Head coach Butch Davis and former assistant coach John Blake
2. Parking tickets issued to 11 student-athletes
Records ruled protected under FERPA
3. Names, employment dates and salaries of all individuals employed as tutors for UNC athletes
“FERPA does not provide a student with an invisible cloak so that the student can remain hidden from public view while enrolled at UNC,” Manning wrote.
In another section of the decision, the judge ruled in favor of the University that names, employment dates and salaries of student tutors are protected by FERPA.