Ohio Supreme Court Rules Against ESPN

By Kyle Rowland on June 19, 2012 at 10:27a

UPDATE 12:28pm: Ohio State has issued a statement on the Ohio Supreme Court ESPN ruling:

“Ohio State appreciates the clarity given today by the Ohio Supreme Court affirming the university’s interpretation of federal student privacy laws.   Our student athletes are treated the same way as all of our 64,000 students, and we take seriously our obligation to protect the confidentiality of all of our students’ education records. At the same time, the university also takes seriously its obligation to provide public information in accordance with Ohio law. The university provided ESPN with thousands of pages of records during the course of our NCAA investigation, and as now affirmed by a unanimous court, it acted responsibly in responding to the many varied and broad public record requests it received.”

Buckeye fans can rejoice a little. No, Michigan was not defeated by the Canadians. Instead, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled in Ohio State University’s favor in regards to a lawsuit brought forth by ESPN over records the World Wide Leader wanted to uncover in connection the “TatGate” and the ensuing NCAA investigation, the Associated Press first reported Tuesday

The Court unanimously ruled in Ohio State’s favor in almost all cases, saying the university acted appropriately in securing documents that are protected by federal privacy laws – mainly the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act – or attorney-client privilege.

“It is impossible to imagine that Congress had any interest in restricting the flow of information about shady deals at a tattoo parlor when it passed FERPA in 1974,” ESPN stated in the suit.

The decision in the almost year-long case was not a surprising one. Since the lawsuit was first reported in July 2011, several prominent organizations viewed an outcome in Ohio State’s favor.

At the heart of the lawsuit were records relating to Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor that ESPN felt should be made public through Freedom of Information Act requests. ESPN’s stance was Ohio State violated the state’s public records law by refusing to release emails between Tressel, Gene Smith and Gordon Gee that dealt with Pryor’s high school mentor, Ted Sarniak. 

ESPN won a small margin of victory in a few cases, being granted the right to view certain documents, though Ohio State must remove “certain names” before they are handed over to ESPN.

You can view the court's opinion after the jump.


Comments Show All Comments

FortMeyer's picture

Wonder if it will be up with the other OSU stories on their website. Just looked and nothing there, unless I missed it. Imagine that.

buck-I.8's picture

I doubt they'll shoot "WE LOSE FRIVOLOUS COURT CASE" to the front page any time soon, haha.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

“It is impossible to imagine that Congress had any interest in restricting the flow of information about shady deals at a tattoo parlor when it passed FERPA in 1974,” ESPN stated in the suit.

who is the douche that worded this suit?

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Run_Fido_Run's picture

That's what I was thinking. Who is their attorney? Colin Cowherd?

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I'd gain a little respect for ESPN if they posted this story on their site. We would have better odds in getting Brian Wagner to transfer to tOSU. 

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

Bucksfan's picture

Nice!  This suit only cost the university how much money?  Kyle, can we get a ruling on that from Gene?

CanadianBuckeye's picture

"No, Michigan was not defeated by the Canadians."
..... yet.

M Man's picture

You guys are just mad that we recruited Tim Biakabutuka out of Quebec.

DMcDougal24's picture

There's a blast from the past... I searched him on Wikipedia and guess what he is up to.

Biakabutuka currently resides in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and owns two Bojangles restaurants in Augusta, Georgia. He had a failed venture as a franchisee of a Nathan's Hot Dog Restaurant

BrewstersMillions's picture

Too soon. Always too soon.

CanadianBuckeye's picture

To be fair Quebec is the Michigan of Canada, nobody wants em around.  Lousy frogs that they are, America can have them and it would be no sweat off my brow.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I still have nightmares of that day sitting in stands in AA watching him run forever!!!  Uff, still makes me shiver in disgust and I can still hear that name being spoken time after time after time!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

DMcDougal24's picture

The court denied ESPN’s request for an award of attorney fees “(b)ecause Ohio State complied with the vast majority of its obligations. . . , and ESPN’s claims are largely without merit.

I put this in the Buck Shot, but I thought this was a rather stinging slap on the wrist to ESPN. 

spqr2008's picture

F*** eSECPN.  Give them nothing.  Edit the docs so bad that the mouse has to waste more resources on it, then once they do, give them nothing.  And then, have the law school file suit against eSECpn under antitrust legislation.  Hit back twice as hard.

Pam's picture

I vote to ban "College Game Day" from the campus.

spqr2008's picture

That would actually hurt them in their wallets.

RBuck's picture

I don't. Would love to see the venom spewed right back at ESPN; but I don't think they have the guts to have CGD here. 

Long live the southend.

tennbuckeye19's picture

If OSU is #1 and is playing a highly ranked opponent, I would think they would come. My question is, why do people even watch that crap. I hate any pre-game shows, half-time shows, and all that talking head business. Last I checked, games were won and lost on the field, not by some suit talking about what they think will happen. 
You may think ESPN is anti-OSU, but don't forget they briefly employed our new head coach. And from what I have seen ESPN is not anti- Urban Meyer. 

DMcDougal24's picture

Hasn't espn CGD been to Columbus more than anywhere else? If not, it's at least close

Poison nuts's picture

Not sure whether they are or aren't biased. Some of the reporting gets me riled up & there's Mark May.... On the other hand - they do employ more Buckeye analysts (including the most Buckeye of all Buckeyes - Chris Spielman) than analysts from any other school. Just Sayin.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

If they do show up - I think we should organize a movement to flood the crowd with signs - F@#$ ESPN comes to mind - and watch them scramble to keep them out of the shots. 

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

jfunk's picture

To the day I die I will never forgive ESPiN and CGD for allowing Desmond-F&%#ing-Howard and Nick "I Used to Be Married to Jessica Simpson" Lachey to sing "The Victors" from the top of OUR stadium. If someone from OSU signed off on that I hope they ended up losing their job. It was tasteless and a blatant jab at all Buckeyes... Ever since that incident I've been hoping they'd never come back to campus.

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

gravey's picture

I hate ESPN.  I rarely watch it now; and never watch the any of their college football drivel.  Only when the Buckeyes are playing on that network.  
I'm not a conspiracy type, but you just don't see the intensity of their focus on scandals at UNC, or certainly not at USC (where I now live).

jedkat's picture

I Believe we should replace DERP with FERPA, or FERP any time espn does something douchey.

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

xtremebuckeye's picture

Hope the Buckeyes dont make it to their bias list  ;)

O H I O is the Buckeye State

buckeye76BHop's picture

Oh how sweet it is...I love the fact that they're crying over information that they still want to come out.  The only problem is there's nothing to find.  ESPiN just wants to spread more shit that they and SI started.  Unreal how people can't just let it die.  Looks like they'll have to now or they'll release some Bull Shit that doesn't reveal anything new.  But they'll make it seem like they are...somehow.  I personally hate that network.  I only watch OSU games and College Football Live.  I love how UFM played the shit out of them and got to scout the B1G and got paid for it.  You have to love intellectual individuals.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

joeygood's picture

"Ohio court rules for Ohio State in ESPN lawsuit"
First headline of ESPN's BuckeyeNAtion page