Newspaper claims Indiana University illegally withheld records of coach’s firing

An Indianapolis newspaper filed a lawsuit in October against Indiana University, claiming that the school violated the state’s open-records law by refusing to release detailed information related to the firing of men’s basketball coach Bob Knight.

In Marion Superior Court, The Indianapolis Star argued that because Indiana University is a public institution, it should be required to disclose all information leading to Knight’s dismissal, which was provoked by what the university called “a pattern of unacceptable behavior.”

University officials said they withheld information on the advice of the state’s public access counselor.

“We’ve complied with the law in all respects,” said Susan Dillman, a university spokeswoman. “We plan to defend this lawsuit vigorously.”

Another lawsuit against the university was filed by a group of alumni and citizens who said the school violated Indiana’s open-meetings law in October when 4 trustees met privately to discuss the situation regarding Knight. The plaintiffs accuse officials of purposely holding meetings with fewer than five people to avoid violating the state’s open-meetings law, which requires meetings of five or more public officials to be open to the public.