Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014


Recent scandals on the campuses of major universities in the United States have deeply affected not only coaches and coaching staffs, but also faculty, students, university governing bodies and administrators. Ensuing investigations and news coverage have prompted reporters to seek records, documents, and to attend meetings in order to scrutinize actions and records of university administrations. The open access and information laws, often described as sunshine laws, provide for public access to many records, documents, and meetings. Publicly-supported institutions must comply with these laws and this legality has created a conflict between administrators and student journalists in state universities throughout the United States including Ohio. Engaging qualitative data collection techniques, researchers conducted interviews and focus groups to ascertain the perceptions, attitudes and actions of the various stakeholders in this confrontation between student journalists and university administrators. This paper focuses on the laws, legalities and litigation that have caused and/orresulted from this conflict in state universities in Ohio.


This refereed paper is published by The Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio. The copy of record is available at

Copyright © 2014 the authors. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.