Report: Attorney Tom Mars hits all 13 B1G public universities with FOIA request
Prominent college athletics attorney Tom Mars has hit all 13 B1G public universities with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request as a result of the conference’s reluctance to provide transparency as it relates to the decision to postpone fall football. Buckeyes Wire confirmed the news on Thursday.
All universities were included in the FOIA request, with the exception of Northwestern University, which is not a public institution and does not fall under FOIA requests.
“I can confirm that I’ve sent comprehensive FOIA requests to all Big Ten public universities (13) per rights afforded by the public records laws in eleven different states,” Mars told Buckeyes Wire in an email.
Mars threatened the action last week while speaking with Jon Jansen on SiriusXM Radio. He cited parent and player frustration with the lack of transparency the B1G, commissioner Kevin Warren and the conference’s presidents provided regarding the decision. Now, he’s hoping to get more clarity for the student-athletes.
“If nothing else, the football players in the B1G deserve a better explanation than what they commissioner said in the uninformative message he ironically described as an ‘Open Letter,’” Mars told Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News recently. “It would be a mistake for the schools to engage in their typical stonewalling in responding to my FOIA requests. After all, I won’t just give the players, their parents and the sportswriters whatever responsive records the schools provide. At the risk of sounding cynical, I’ll also share the predictable letters the schools will send me in the next week setting forth their best efforts at evasion and delay.
“This isn’t my first rodeo with state universities that might try to avoid the requirements of state FOIA laws because the requested records involve athletics. I’d like to think the B1G public schools won’t follow that familiar patterns, but we’ll find out soon enough.”