LLG

August 26th, 2018 at 7:19 PM ^

Thanks -- interesting that Jon Jansen is on the show now.  I could see him doing the show for the next thirty years.

charblue.

August 26th, 2018 at 9:09 PM ^

This in the journalistic trade is known as a process article, a piece that examines whether the circumstances of a particular government or university-related public institution in form or function violated any standard of a state's open meeting or public records laws by denying access or regulatory response to a particular request that might trigger legal action.

Usually if or when a violation is found, you might find some news outlet working with a state press association and its public access attorney threatening to bring suit in order to correct the record.

In this case, as part of its summary report, the investigative committee hired by Ohio State admin to investigate Urban Meyer's supervision of Zach Smith did a very thorough job in reporting all of its findings about the case, and in particular, the lack of response to email and cell phone records requests made by university officials following up with officials within the football department.

Initially, when the school newspaper, The Lantern, asked for emails from Meyer's phone, the university failed to respond.

But the lack of clarity surrounding this issue was compounded by the alleged failure of school personnel to respond promptly to two July 25 requests, one covering a period from July 18-July 24, 2018, and another for emails and text messages from Oct. 25-Dec. 1, 2015. And the Lantern also sought the same type of records in communications between Meyer and AD Gene Smith regarding Zach Smith for those same periods of time.

According to the New York Times, which on Aug. 24 published highlights of the Ohio State investigative committee findings, the school paper requests were forwarded to Julie Vannatta, OSU's senior associate general counsel, who in turn emailed AD Smith and Diana Sabau, senior assciate athletic director, instructing them to retrieve responsive emails and texts. On July 26, Vannatta asked Amy Nichol, the football department's director of internal operations, and Brian Voltolini, director of football operations, "to get Meyer's phone and check texts with Zach."

Voltolini had been on the practice field with Meyer on Aug. 1 when Brett McMurphy's story broke detailing Meyer's knowledge of domestic violence allegations against ZS. After reading the story, Voltolini went up to Meyer and told him this was "a bad article." And the two then reportedly discussed whether the media could get to Meyer's phone and how to adjust settings on it so that messages on it older than one year could be deleted.

In the end, in spite of all these named officials knowing about the phone records requests -- and indeed both AD Smith and Sabau reported they had no documents on their end -- it now appears that no one actually checked Meyer's phone or even approached him about the requests.

So, while it has been widely noted that Meyer and staff deliberately responded to McMurphy's report and showed him how to actually alter his phone to delete more than year-old phone records, it has never been widely noted that this alleged destruction occurred after the university had received official media requests, and thus any destruction of that information could violate the state's public records law.

Now, as noted above, there is no case for such a violation unless the case is made. And given the way this matter was handled by the school's board of trustees and reported by Columbus media, which has been repeatedly lied to and denied public records access by both the university and police, I don't expect any further action. That is, unless McMurphy wants to continue his lone wolf cause.

 

RainbowSprings

August 27th, 2018 at 7:17 AM ^

Jon Jansen is a fine addition to the program. I've always enjoyed his post-game analyses on the UM radio broadcasts. I'd sure like to see UM phase him into the broadcast booth as well, and Brandy out. Brandy's exaggerated enthusiasm is becoming quite tiresome, and he is certainly not a good PbP guy. Cannot deny that Jim is a great Michigan Man, however.