Former basketball player loses privacy suit against school

ARIZONA — An Arizona Superior Court judge sent a former OrlandoMagic basketball player back to the bench for good in December when hedismissed his $1 million lawsuit over an article revealing his less-than-magicgrades.

Last October, Miles Simon filed a suit against his former school, theUniversity of Arizona, and The Kansas City Star over a 1997 articlepublished in the Star.

The article, “Bending the rules to win: MVP made grade only on the court,”was the last in a six-part series examining the influence of money on NationalCollegiate Athletic Association sports. The article revealed Simon’s gradesand claimed that he exploited academic loopholes at the university to playbasketball.

Simon sued both the Star and the school, contending that an unnameduniversity employee released his grades to the Star. In his complaint,Simon said he “suffered embarrassment, ridicule and emotional distress”after his grades were given to the Star. Simon also claimed thatthe school violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, alsoknown as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA regulates the release of most academicrecords, including grades, without a student’s permission.

Judge Stephen Villarreal granted the Star’s and the university’smotion to dismiss, ruling that the University of Arizona Board of Regentscould not be held responsible for the “unauthorized acts of unknown employeeswho allegedly released Simon’s academic record.”