Shelby Star: Judge Manning's ruling: a missed opportunity
From the Shelby Star (8/21/12): There has been no shortage of troubling news reports coming out of the University of North Carolina football program during the coaching days of Butch Davis. Add one more with the puzzling decision handed down recently by Superior Court Judge Howard Manning.
Ruling in a public records lawsuit filed by state media, Judge Manning allowed public officials an end run around North Carolina’s government transparency laws.
At issue is the UNC chancellors’ and coaches’ use of personal cell phones to conduct public business. There is a real possibility calls on Davis’ phone could reveal how much he and others at UNC knew about academic fraud and inducements given to university athletes. After all, the tutor who helped UNC football players on Davis’ watch was the same one Davis hired to help his own offspring. That relationship begs questions about what the coach knew was being done to get athletes through the university without the academic work required of students who could not pass, kick, block or tackle.
The people of North Carolina have a right to know the level of integrity with which employees of this public university operate, but the judge blocked this legal attempt to find out.