Putting this in the football category, although it applies to all sports.
Maybe I don’t understand NIL, I thought these were contracts between the athlete and a business or individual and the school is not a party to the agreement. If this is the case, what right does the public have to this information and why should a school be compelled to release it?
If it is a direct payment from the private nonprofit or a direct contract between the player and a private business, there is no public obligation for any disclosure.
If the money is being channeled in any way through the University to the player, the argument to disclose will be that private money became government money when it hit the public institution before going to the player and is now reportable, per GRAMA.
Let’s be clear here. Just like the infamous “audit” a few years back, this is a case of some state legislative fanboys of a certain religious institution trying to punish the U for its successes.
Say I’m a private citizen - not a state or state university employee - who enters a contract with a private company. The Record Committee’s decision is like saying that contract’s details should be public domain.
If they were earnest in their efforts, they would be targeting the NCAA who has chosen not to regulate NIL.
With all the Public-Private contracts I dealt with over a decade plus (and directly over the last 5), depending on the information contained in the contract, some of the information may be considered private-proprietary, and under GRAMA can be considered protected. It doesn’t protect the whole document, but it allows the protected parts to be redacted.
If what I was reading about NIL is correct, the University’s role in the process is to audit the agreements only, meaning all they should be doing is making sure the agreements and payments conform to whatever rules are in place with the NCAA and/or State rules. Based on that understanding it would be fair for the University to claim (as the agreements and payments are ex parte to the University) the information collected for audit of compliance purposes, the information is proprietary and can be considered protected.
This is important because private universities, based on practice, would be (and currently are) exempt from any public reporting requirement other than to the NCAA for compliance. As the NCAA is operated as a private nonprofit, they are under no obligation to publicly disclose any of the reported information. In short it gives the private universities a headhunting advantage because they know what the kids playing for the public universities are making and can (money available) outbid and cherry pick talent. A similar line of arguments can be made for “Have’s vs. Have Not” public universities. It’s financially awesome for the kids; but it is also going to lead to the Mutually Assured Destruction of College football (as if the whole media rights fiasco hasn’t already damaged the brand and product).
I hope the University is successful in moving these to protected records (or at last the parts that need protecting).