Given that UNC has still not released all of the email and other records they are required to, it is surprising how much has been found so far. I’m sure more will come out as time goes by, but aside from the UNC professor’s email we talked about last night, there are some additional emails that I think are worthy of discussion. How/why the media is not all over this stuff is beyond me.
In this email exchange involving News and Observer staff writer Andy Curliss and Regina Stabile, a UNC lawyer, UNC says that they can’t get the texts from Verizon without a court order, and they can’t get a court order because they are not in litigation with Blake. These are texts made FROM A UNC PHONE, and they claim they can’t get them. Riiiiight. Gee, I wonder why they are working so hard to keep Blake’s text messages from the public? Certainly all of his recruiting was above board, right? Here are some excerpts from this email exchange:
On 9/14/2010 5:56 PM, Stabile, Regina wrote:
Dear Andy -
I write in response to your request below seeking clarification about my written statement “the University does not have any documentation regarding text messages”.
The University neither has copies of nor access to any text records. When we contacted the appropriate staff at Verizon we learned that they will only gather and/or release text records if presented with a valid subpoena or court order.
When pressed on it by Tysiac, she replies:
The University and John Blake are not involved in litigation. There’s no legal basis to subpoena the text message records from Verizon.
I don’t know public records law, but I am willing to bet that if the information in the texts helped UNC, UNC would have already released the texts at a huge press conference with the texts themselves each individully reprinted on a billboard-sized sign, accompanied by trumpet fanfare, dancing midgets, and fire jugglers. Given UNC’s actions, however, I am willing to bet that the information on he texts is not helpful to UNC. Just a guess.
Moving on, in this little email deal here, we see that Erskine Bowles (who is president of the UNC system) obviously is working damage control and calling UNC-CH “we.” This is exactly how the president of the UNC system acted in 1989-90 regarding NC State’s problems, right? I think that’s exactly how it went down.
Finally, for now, here is an email exchange between John Drescher of the News and Observer and Holden Thorp from last October. In it, we learn several interesting things. The whole thing is worth reading. I will just focus on two points I find interesting. First, they are apparently 200 pages of Blake’s emails that still have not been released (to my knowledge anyway), even though Thorp says they would be given to the N & O by the end of the week. Amazingly, these two hundred pages cover just two weeks. (!)
3. Correspondence of Butch Davis and John Blake.
> We continue to work hard on this aspect of the N&O’s request. As you
> know, producing email records is one of the most time-consuming
> aspects of public records work, since each message has to be reviewed
> for protected student and personnel information. I understand that we
> should be able to provide about 200 pages of John Blake’s email by the
> end of the week; this represents only ten days worth of his email
I will leave you today with this passage, where we see that UNC is defining football players’ parking tickets as “educational records” to shield their release. Parking tickets, I assume, would have the make and model of the players’ cars on them. Could this be why UNC is fighting their release?
7. Parking tickets.
> We do not agree with the legal analysis of Amanda Martin with
> respect to parking tickets. Pat Crawford and Joanna Carey
> Cleveland discussed the University’s position on this issue with Ms.
> Martin several weeks ago and explained that, because of the way we
> issue and maintain parking tickets, we believe they qualify as> education records…