Most sports reporters likely will never be confused for seasoned lawyers, but a new research paper suggests journalists might have to become better acquainted with the law.
Why is this a cause for concern? While state and federal governments are creating laws to protect the privacy of students, some schools might attempt to use the laws to deny information requests.
Interpretations of the act have led to legal challenges. For example, a University of Maryland basketball player violated NCAA rules regarding the payment of parking tickets in the 1990s. The university’s student newspaper, The Diamondback, requested access to the parking tickets; the university denied the request citing FERPA. After a court battle, The Diamondback won the case because parking tickets were not considered part of students’ educational records.
The diminished expectation decision has big implications for things such as drug testing and potentially down the line allowing states to make compelling cases for “preventing specific online activities” for student-athletes.