Purdue wins battle over NCAA records

INDIANA — A state superior court judge has ruled against a Fort Wayne newspaper that sued Purdue University for access to grievances filed by the former women’s basketball coach and records of potential violations of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.Judge Donald C. Johnson said in the February ruling in the Journal Gazette v. Purdue University, No. 79D01-9612-CP-00399 (Ind. Super. Ct. Tippecanoe County, Feb. 19, 1997), that state law allows public agencies to keep private documents that are “advisory or deliberative material.” Many of the records asked for by the paper, said Johnson, were covered by state open records law.The suit was filed by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette to disclose information gathered by Purdue concerning its own violations of NCAA rules. The paper’s editors say that the information is covered by the state’s public records law.The paper initially asked for the information in September and October, but was formally refused by the university. A reporter at the Journal Gazette said that despite the ruling, the paper did receive some records on NCAA recruiting violations at the school.However, she said, since these violations were usually small infractions of the rules, by reporting the violations themselves Purdue received little more than a slap on the wrist.