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ESPN Is Suing Notre Dame For Refusing To Release Student-Athlete Incident Reports

The network argues the school is subject to the Access to Public Records Act.

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In September and November of 2014, ESPN reporter Paula Lavigne filed a public records request for incident reports involving Notre Dame student-athletes. The university did not comply.

The school says they are exempt from the reach of the Access to Public Records Act because they are a private university. However, Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt does not agree with that claim. When ESPN expressed concern with the school's refusal to release the records, Britt advised Notre Dame to comply with the request, explaining that though the school is a private university, its campus police department qualified as a public institution.

Reporters often file requests for public information, often to universities and police departments.

The result of this lawsuit could define how and when private institutions are subject to public transparency.

Lindsey Adler is a sports reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Lindsey Adler at lindsey.adler@buzzfeed.com.

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