Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No Sunshine in Florida?

Mike Bianchi at the Orlando Sentinel continues to be a thorn in the side of Florida State. Kudos:

Not much sunshine in Orlando this week because of Tropical Storm Fay.

Not much Sunshine in Tallahassee either due to another tropical storm on the horizon -- a top-secret list of alleged NCAA violations.

The Sunshine we're talking about is the State of Florida's Sunshine Law, which Florida State is once again trying to finagle around amid an academic fraud scandal that has turned into a national embarrassment for the Seminoles and their athletic department.

A quick legal briefing: Our state's Government-in-the-Sunshine law and corresponding Open Records Act provide almost unfettered and timely public access to documents, tapes, photographs and just about everything else generated by state-funded agencies. . . .

But, so far, Florida State has dragged its feet in releasing a key document that could provide some answers. That document -- the NCAA's Notice of Allegations (NOA) -- is a list of the alleged NCAA violations that occurred amid a cheating scandal involving university employees and more than 60 athletes.

FSU received the NOA two months ago and multiple media outlets, including the Sentinel, have requested its release. . . .

You would think the school would have learned its lesson about the Sunshine Law during the gambling investigation of starting quarterback Adrian McPherson a few years ago. That's when a school administrator actually admitted he didn't take notes during an internal investigation because he was intentionally trying to circumvent the Sunshine Law.

It was this sort of clandestine activity that fueled the perception FSU was trying to cover up the McPherson mess. Which is why President T.K. Wetherell claimed from that point on Florida State would be more open, less secretive. . . .

I have praised you in the past T.K. Why the letdown?

1. FSU Cheating Scandal
2. Florida State Scandal: Kudos to President Wetherell
3. STUDENT-Athlete Garrett Johnson Fires Both Barrels
4. No Sunshine in Florida?
5. FSU Scandal: Brenda Monk Breaks Her Silence

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