Former basketball player loses privacy suit against school

ARIZONA -- An Arizona Superior Court judge sent a former Orlando Magic basketball player back to the bench for good in December when he dismissed his $1 million lawsuit over an article revealing his less-than-magic grades.

Last October, Miles Simon filed a suit against his former school, the University of Arizona, and The Kansas City Star over a 1997 article published in the Star.

The article, "Bending the rules to win: MVP made grade only on the court," was the last in a six-part series examining the influence of money on National Collegiate Athletic Association sports. The article revealed Simon's grades and claimed that he exploited academic loopholes at the university to play basketball.

Simon sued both the Star and the school, contending that an unnamed university employee released his grades to the Star. In his complaint, Simon said he "suffered embarrassment, ridicule and emotional distress" after his grades were given to the Star. Simon also claimed that the school violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA regulates the release of most academic records, including grades, without a student's permission.

Judge Stephen Villarreal granted the Star's and the university's motion to dismiss, ruling that the University of Arizona Board of Regents could not be held responsible for the "unauthorized acts of unknown employees who allegedly released Simon's academic record."    

reports, Spring 2000