Nice FOI get by the Texas student paper…

The Daily Texan broke some news today thanks to some reporter’s brilliantly simple FOI request:

Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite engaged in “inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student” in 2009, according to a statement released by UT men’s head athletics director DeLoss Dodds on Friday night.

The incident took place during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, when Applewhite served as running backs coach. The identity of the student was not revealed…

The story was made possible thanks to an FOI request for a letter from UT’s athletic director to Applewhite outlining his punishment for the incident: the department froze Applewhite’s salary for the rest of the year and required him to schedule an initial session with a licensed professional counselor.

FOI at work: Wisconsin coach was writing love notes to Arkansas AD long before hire…

A shrewd use of FOI in Arkansas

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

demonstrates, once again, the power of public records on the sports beat…

Strange as it seems, the nuances of the Freedom of Information Act have loomed improbably large lately over Arkansas football, having played a key role in fanning the flames that lapped at both Houston Nutt and Bobby Petrino on their way out of town. Now, in the case of new head coach Bret Bielema, his first Fayetteveille FOIA might as well be a rite of initiation.

Unlike his predecessors, Bielema isn’t being pursued for scandal, but rather for a friendly note he wrote his new boss earlier this year – at least two months before the Razorbacks left the rest of the country gobsmacked last week by poaching the architect of back-to-back-to-back Big Ten championship teams at Wisconsin. According to documents released by the university, Bielema actually made contact with Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long in September, when he sent Long a handwritten note supporting his decision to fire Petrino after a motorcycle accident revealed an inappropriate relationship with an athletic department staffer. Reporters picked up the scent when Long mentioned the note from Bielema last week, and on Monday got their hands on the original…

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Ah, the Quirky World of Big-Time College Football Coaches

USA Today did a great FOI-driven sports story looking at the crazy stuff included in coaches’ contracts….

USA TODAY Sports reporters and editors analyzed thousands of documents in calculating salaries for the 124 FBS head coaches and nearly 1,000 assistants.

While combing through contract after contract – after contract after contract – we also came across a few interesting contractual “quirks.” Some involve relationships with supermarket chains, golf clubs and gun shops. Others are bonuses that can be earned by reaching certain on- and off-field goals. Here are a few examples:

Texas coach Mack Brown:

Brown was paid $60,000 to serve as the chairman of the board for the University of Texas Golf Club. While it’s a pittance compared to his football earnings, Brown’s off-the-field benefits also included a $750 gift card to McBride’s Guns in Austin.

And this gem:

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian:

The university pays the cost of having Sarkisian’s family travel to all away football games, all postseason events in which the football team participates and two additional business-related trips each fiscal year if he so elects.

Poor guy needs travel money….

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Nice little FOI-driven daily story on the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry ending on the gridiron. Wish that folks would add a “MADE POSSIBLE BY OPEN RECORDS…” button on these stories.

Notre Dame is opting out of its series with Michigan, meaning the last scheduled game between college football’s winningest programs will take place in 2014.

A letter from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon cancelling games in 2015-17 was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Brandon told the AP he was handed the letter on the field in South Bend, Ind., about an hour before Saturday night’s game.

“I put the letter in my pocket and didn’t bother to read it right away because I was focused on the game we were about to play,” Brandon said. “I read it on the way home Sunday morning.”

More here.

Connecticut’s High Court to Hear FOI Case Involving UConn Ticket Holder Info

Connecticut’s highest court will soon consider whether the University of Connecticut must release its season ticket holders’ names and some other lists under open records laws.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled an Oct. 21 hearing on the case, which stems from a Freedom of Information Commission decision in 2009.

That agency ordered UConn to provide the records to alumnus and former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto. He’d requested them to reach more people for a new advocacy and watchdog group.

A GREAT Use of FOI..in sports!

This is a sportswriter in a documents state of mind!

Florida associate athletic director Greg McGarity and long-time NFL executive Jim Steeg are among 49 people who have asked to be considered for the vacant athletic-director position at the University of Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday obtained, under Georgia’s Open Records Act, copies of e-mails, letters and resumes submitted to UGA by McGarity, Steeg and others applying for the position vacated by the resignation last month of Damon Evans.

Idaho hunters want secret licenses

In the annals of secrecy masked as “privacy” comes this story, in which hunters in Idaho seek to keep hunting and fishing licenses under wraps. A license is a public act, people.