University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a coalition of media companies, saying it will produce key records related to an NCAA investigation and pay $45,000 of the plaintiffs’ legal fees.
A settlement signed late Thursday by Chancellor Holden Thorp and executives of the media companies, including The Charlotte Observer, says the university will produce transcripts of interviews of student-athletes that UNC conducted during the NCAA investigation.
That probe led to more than a dozen football players being ruled ineligible for games and probation for the football program.
The media companies, including The (Raleigh) News & Observer, the Daily Tar Heel, The Associated Press, WRAL, WTVD and Time Warner’s News 14 Carolina, sued nearly two years ago when the university balked at producing records.
Previously, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning had ruled that other records, including some of former football coach Butch Davis’ cellphone records, were public. The new agreement settles other remaining disputes, and both sides agree not to appeal.
“We are pleased with the agreement,” said N&O Executive Editor John Drescher. “We got almost everything we wanted.”
The records specified in the agreement are expected to be produced on Friday.