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Judge to review UNC records

News & Observer (5/2/2014): Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins will review UNC-Chapel Hill records that show enrollments of athletes in fraudulent classe as part of a public records lawsuit brought by the newspaper. 

The News & Observer requested records last year that show enrollments in fraudulent classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by individual sport. The newspaper's request specifically excluded the names of individual athletes enrolled in the classes. 

The university denied the request, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, better known as FERPA. It is a federal law that can pre-empt the state open records law. The university claims that releasing the enrollments could potentially lead to individual students being identified when paired with information released previously as part of the ongoing scandal over athletics and academics.

The News & Observer filed a lawsuit in January over the records request. A hearing was held Friday and Judge Collins agreed to review the records before deciding whether or not they should be public. 

This is the second time that media outlets have sued the university over its use of FERPA to avoid responding to the public records law. The earlier suit was settled in 2011 after Judge Howard Manning made findings largely in favor of the news organizations. 

Read the N&O's coverage here

Jonathan Jones,
5/6/2014 2:25 PM