The University of North Carolina didn’t win any points for transparency in a report issued this week that found the Chapel Hill campus failed to respond to a student journalist’s request for copies of athletic department documents.
Several University of Maryland journalism students, in this report jointly published by the Student Press Law Center, asked 83 public colleges and universities for copies of codes of conduct for athletic departments and teams and other related documents.
While most schools complied with the request for copies of policies related to social media use by student athletes, UNC sat on the records request for more than five months without producing anything. Their inaction stood out from the rest of the schools, the vast majority of which complied with requests for records.
The student journalists also encountered problems at the University of Delaware and the University of Central Florida, both of which denied the requests for information.
Dave Collier, the head of University of Arizona’s journalism school and current president of the national Society of Professional Journalist, called UNC’s handling of the requests “terrible.”
“I don’t know if that’s UNC’s intent here, but it’s really outrageous, that kind of delay,” Cuillier said in the SPLC report. “Does UNC really want to be an outlier? Does UNC want to be seen that way?”