Would Bledsoe sue? Thursday thoughts

From stormy Destin, Fla.

Several have written wondering if former University of Kentucky player Eric Bledsoe will sue over a high school transcript of his that was leaked to The New York Times. I don’t think so. First, whom would he sue? Nobody knows who leaked the document. Everybody has a guess. It’s hard to sue someone you “guess,” based on hearsay from people who also are guessing, may have wronged you. Does he sue The New York Times? No. If The Times can publish the Pentagon Papers, I think it’s all right publishing transcript details.

Furthermore, the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act does not, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, “create a private right of action enforceable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.” (Gonzaga University v. Doe, 2002) In other words, you can’t bring a Federal lawsuit for money damages, though I suppose you could try to bring a civil suit in state court. Strictly speaking, if you want to file a complaint, you do it with the U.S. Department of Education, which can restrict Federal funding to schools guilty of FERPA violations — though it rarely does for a single violation.

My guess is that Bledsoe would be best served by letting the whole thing drop. There’s little to be gained by undergoing a costly lawsuit that would bring only more attention to the matter. But I could be wrong.

It sounds crazy, but I think that Armando Galarraga’s perfect game that was ruined by a missed call on the final out will go down in baseball lore in a far bigger way than it would have if the final out had been called correctly and the result gone into the books as a perfect game. I think it would be a nice touch if Cooperstown preserved the whole thing as is. There ought to be a place somewhere in the Hall of Fame for blown calls, anyway. They’re part of the game. I’m very impressed by the reactions of everybody involved. [My blog entry on the subject]

From the SEC meetings in Destin, coaches seem to like the idea of a conference tournament in Memphis’ FedEx Forum, which I agree, would be a great spot for the event. You know where else would be a great spot? Louisville’s soon-to-be completed KFC Yum! Center. What’s unclear is whether U of L, which virtually controls scheduling for the arena during those dates, would clear the way for the event to be pursued. By contract, U of L’s sineage and logos and championship banners can only be covered or hidden in the building with U of L’s consent. The SEC, of course (and NCAA when it is there) brings in its own stuff. It’ll be interesting to watch.

U of L baseball coach Dan McDonnell’s three-game suspension for arguing with umpires at the Big East Tournament looks excessive at first glance, but once the report is filed, it’s pretty much a mandatory 3-game ruling that the NCAA must either enforce or drop. Several who were at the game say they think McDonnell was baited in some way, that he had retreated to the dugout, then stormed back out after an umpire said something. Either way, McDonnell can only do what he has done, apologize and move on. No use getting on the bad side of umps everywhere. You can’t win that fight.

Non-sports item of the day: Reporters are being told they can’t take pictures of gulf oil damage because “it’s BP’s oil.” Something’s fishy. [Washington Post]


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