(CN) – The Ohio Supreme Court blocked ESPN’s attempt to gain full access to records regarding the resignation of head football coach Jim Tressel.
The sports network sued Ohio State University, asking the state’s highest court for a writ of mandamus for access to the records regarding Tressel’s firing, which was part of the fallout from a scandal in which some players traded Buckeyes memorabilia for tattoos from a Eddie Rife of Fine Line Ink, who was under a federal investigation.
Tressel was fired for failure to disclose his players’ connection to Rife to the university and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In an unsigned opinion, the Ohio Supreme Court justices ruled that most of the documents ESPN sought were protected by attorney-client privilege.
The justices did allow ESPN access to some records, but only after the identifying information of student-athletes are redacted.
“Under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), schools and educational agencies receiving federal financial assistance must comply with certain conditions. One condition specified in the Act is that sensitive information about students may not be released without parental consent,” they wrote.
The court also rejected ESPN’s request for attorney fees, stating that “Ohio State complied with the vast majority of its obligations under (state law) in responding to ESPN’s records requests, and ESPN’s claims are largely without merit.”