Thursday, April 21, 2016

UGA Open Records Requests

I've written on this earlier, but I now have cleaner and more comprehensive data on the kinds of open records requests UGA receives and how many -- as seen by a new law in Georgia -- involve athletics. Below I discuss not only how many requests were made, and not only how many of those involve sports, but also who made the most requests from UGA.

As we all know, the governor signed into law a 90-day (versus the usual 3-day) time period for athletics departments in Georgia universities to respond to the public's right to know. Yes, the public can know ... eventually. In 90 days. Or longer, really, a law written mainly because sports journalists wanted to know how much money the coach was using to fly here and there recruiting.

What I'm presenting here are all open records requests made since August 1, 2015, to late last week. Below are the basic results. As you can see, sports-related requests make up over half of the requests (54.7 percent).

205 (54.7%)
170 (45.3%)

To be honest, the proportion of sports-related open records requests would be even higher if not for a controversy involving an employee on campus and how UGA bungled her case. There were quite a number of requests on that and, taken out of the mix, sports would dominate even more.

I didn't take the time to break down the non-athletics requests. A lot are routine stuff, like the number of bee keepers in Clinch County (yes, really). A lot are from lawyers niffing around for info for their clients (some interesting stories there, budding journalists, if you just take a closer look). There's even a helicopter mom asking why her kid didn't get accepted into UGA.

Top Requesters

The news media make far more requests than anyone else and especially in sports. Below you'll see the Top 10 Requesters from UGa in the last eight or so months.

# Requests
Marc Weiszer
Robbie Burton
Seth Emerson
Chip Towers
Lee Shearer
Jason Butt
Kevin Kelley
Kale Duffell
Rebecca Burns
Dan Eveloff

By the way, I'm #11 with four requests. Fear me.

Most of the folks above are sports or news, with Weiszer by far leading the pack. Indeed, 17.3 percent of all requests were made by him. Maybe they should have named the new 90-day law after him?

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