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OSU responds to ESPN lawsuit

Joe Podelco / Lantern photographer

Ohio State has made its response to ESPN Inc. in the form of several emails, documents and a letter addressed to the corporation.

Last month, ESPN sued OSU for illegally withholding public records from the corporation. The university, and more specifically spokesman Jim Lynch, cited FERPA as a reason for not giving the sports news agency some records.

The lawsuit claimed that ESPN was suing for the records and the reimbursement of legal fees.

The university has since sent ESPN, and other news outlets, the specific records that were listed in the lawsuit. The requested records included any and all emails or documents containing the keyword phrase “Ted Sarniak.”

Sarniak is a businessman from Jeanette, Penn., the hometown of former OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Sarniak served as a mentor to Pryor.

Also included in the university’s response to ESPN was a letter containing an explanation of the release of the records and the university’s interpretation of the misunderstanding.

“Consistent with our long working relationship and many telephone conversations, we viewed the process of responding to several of those requests as ongoing,” the letter stated. “The university was unaware that ESPN thought otherwise.”

The university claimed through their letter that the withholding of records was not a malicious effort to block the records from ESPN, but a miscommunication of the clarity of the public record requests.

Lynch declined to comment further than the letter sent to ESPN.

John Greiner, attorney and representative for ESPN, declined to comment on the matter, citing it as pending litigation.

The Supreme Court of Ohio declined to comment on pending cases

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