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Michigan State Reportedly Suing ESPN After Records Request

Michigan State is reportedly suing the Worldwide Leader in sports.

In February, Michigan State announced that three of its football players were being investigated for sexual assault. The players went unnamed, but were suspended from the team indefinitely.

Now, the school is reportedly suing ESPN in an effort to figure out if it has the grounds to withhold police reports from a public records request.

According to a report from Lansing State Journal, Michigan State says it has been put in an "impossible position" because authorities told the school not to release the names, while media members are attempting to use the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to have the names released.

From the report:

MSU argues in a court filing that it has been put in an “impossible position” because Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon’s office asked the university to withhold the records and ESPN asked for them to be released.

An ESPN Inc. reporter submitted a Freedom of Information Act request with the university Feb. 10 seeking all police reports containing allegations of sexual assault since Dec. 10, 2016, as well as records of arrests made between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9, according to court documents.

Michigan State asked if the court can find an FOIA exemption relating to active police investigations to withhold police reports requested by the media.

From the State Journal's report:

MSU filed its lawsuit on Monday in the Court of Claims. The university asked the court to issue a decision on whether the police reports can be withheld through a FOIA exemption relating to open police investigations.

Michigan State and ESPN have a history of legal battles. ESPN sued the school in 2014 after the university responded to an FOIA request by providing copies of reports with redacted names of student-athletes listed as suspects, witnesses or victims, according to court records.

[Lansing State Journal]