Judge: FERPA Doesn’t Protect Documents Related to NCAA’s Investigation at UNC

NORTH CAROLINA — The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not protect records relating to the violation of NCAA rules regarding unpermitted benefits received by student athletes, according to a Superior Court judge.

The decision is in response to a lawsuit filed 2010 by DTH Media Corp, which publishes the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, the Student Press Law Center reports. The DTH and seven other media organizations sued after the university cited FERPA to withhold access to records relating to the school’s NCAA investigation into the football team.

The NCAA inquiry, which began in mid-2010, has resulted in the head coach’s firing, a one-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions, and an ongoing investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation into academic fraud.

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