Judge Orders Michigan State to Release Donor Agreements

Andy Berg Headshot
Giorgio Trovato Wyxq Qpy F Nk8 Unsplash (1)

A judge has ordered Michigan State to release donor agreements with two alumni who gave or pledged millions of dollars to the school's athletic department. 

According to ESPN, MSU had previously acknowledged that some of the money will help pay for a 10-year, $95 million contract with head football coach Mel Tucker. 

The school has refused to release agreement with alumni Mat Ishiba and Steve St. Andre, citing a privacy exemption in Michigan's state public  records law. However, judge Brock Swartzle rejected that argument Monday. 

"The privacy exemption does not apply to the gift agreements, with the limited exceptions of home addresses and estate-planning provisions," Swartzle said in ruling in favor of the Detroit Free Press.

MSU will now have 10 days to release the records. 

"Information of this sort is directly relevant to university functioning and would contribute significantly to the public understanding of government operations or activities," the judge said.

MSU also argued that disclosing the agreements with Ishibia and St. Andre would discourage others from donating. 

"The court does not deny that disclosure might create a chilling effect with respect to certain charitable contributions to a public institution," Swartzle said. "An exception might make good sense from a policy standpoint, but policy is a question for our Legislature, not the courts."

Page 1 of 366
Next Page
AB Show 2024 in New Orleans
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Nov. 19-22, 2024
Learn More
AB Show 2024
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide