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Media outlets sue Florida State over release of documents pertaining to NCAA appeal

The Associated Press and numerous media outlets sued Florida State and the NCAA on Monday for the public release of documents relating to the school's appeal of an NCAA-imposed sanction.

The suit, which calls the NCAA and FSU's actions "particularly insidious to Florida's constitutional and statutory guarantee of access to public records," is the latest salvo in the case that sprung from an academic misconduct scandal involving 61 student-athletes in 10 sports.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican who will be running for governor in 2010, sent a letter to NCAA president Myles Brand on Friday urging his organization to release the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions' response to the issues FSU raised about having to vacate wins.

The response, kept by the NCAA on a secured custodial Web site, can only be viewed, not downloaded or printed. FSU has until July 1 to craft a rebuttal.

The lawsuit called this NCAA practice "a scheme to avoid public access to records" and FSU has been "complicit." Attorney Bill Williams of GrayRobinson, a Tallahassee law firm retained by FSU, had to sign a confidentiality agreement before he could read the document. The firm has been named a defendant along with FSU president T.K. Wetherell.

"We look forward to the resolution of this lawsuit and hope it will lead to complete compliance with the public's right to know," said FSU general counsel Betty Steffens, who told the St. Petersburg Times last week that a request for the documents was turned down by the NCAA. "We stand ready to act upon any order of the court."

The NCAA said it would reserve comment until it could review the suit.

LSU perfect at CWS

OMAHA , Neb. — Mikie Mahtook, Austin Nola and Blake Dean homered and LSU stayed unbeaten at the College World Series with a 9-1 victory over Arkansas.

The No. 3-seeded Tigers (53-16), who have won 12 straight, are off until they play the Razorbacks or Virginia on Friday. A win in that game would send LSU to next week's best-of-three finals.

Arkansas (40-23) and Virginia meet Wednesday in an elimination game.

The Cavaliers beat All-American Daniel Renken and Cal State Fullerton 7-5, extending their first appearance in the College World Series and eliminating the Titans. Fullerton (47-16) has lost five straight in the CWS.

Virginia scored four times against Renken in the second inning, and he was finished in the sixth after allowing a season-high six runs.

Basketball

Meeks chooses draft: Jodie Meeks is taking his long-range game to the NBA. Luke Harangody decided to return to college for his senior year and a chance to become the leading scorer in Notre Dame history. The deadline for underclassmen who had declared for the NBA draft but did not hire agents to withdraw was Monday. Meeks, the slick shooting 6-foot-4 guard from Kentucky, Wake Forest point guard Jeff Teague, Gonzaga forward Austin Daye and Texas A&M forward Chinemelu Elonu were among notable players who chose to remain draft eligible. Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez and Georgia Tech power forward Gani Lawal joined Harangody in withdrawing their names and will return to school. Meeks led the SEC in scoring and was eighth nationally with 23.7 points as a junior for Kentucky.

Golf

Gators hire coach: Florida hired Jan Dowling as its golf coach, giving the former Big Break contestant her first head coaching job. Dowling replaces Jill Briles-Hinton, who resigned last month after the Gators finished 16th in the NCAA East regional played in Gainesville.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Media outlets sue Florida State over release of documents pertaining to NCAA appeal 06/15/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 15, 2009 10:56pm]
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