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Mississippi State, Cohen file protective order in Moore suit

July 12, 2011

Cohen

By MATTHEW STEVENS
sdnsports@bellsouth.net

The representatives for Mississippi State University and Bulldogs head baseball coach John Cohen filed a motion for a protective order Friday in Oktibbeha County Court against what they are calling “irrelevant, private and confidential information related to students”.
According to the motion, the representation for former MSU pitcher Forrest Moore has served the defendants in this case with “separate sets of requests for admission, interrogatories and requests for production”.
Moore filed a 17-page complaint in Oktibbeha County court this past May against MSU, Cohen and associate athletic director Mike Nemeth claiming three specific charges against the defendants named in the suit: breach of contract, intentional/tortious interference with
contract and civil conspiracy.
Cohen and Mississippi State University each filed a motion to dismiss the suit in June. Former Mississippi State baseball player Mark Goforth testified in sworn affidavit claiming direct violations of NCAA rules involving practice times.
Friday’s motion says Moore’s representation, led by attorney J. Douglas Foster, served a first set of requests to the university on May 24 and then made a similar set of requests to Cohen personally on June 13. According to the motion, Cohen’s answer to the discovery request is due on or before July 18.
According to the motion, Moore’s representation asked for information regarding financial aid provided to MSU baseball student-athletes other than Moore.
In the motion, the representation for MSU and Cohen claim that not only is this information “of no consequence to Moore’s alleged contractual rights or any alleged interference by Cohen in those rights” but they are also claiming they are protected from releasing such information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The motion cites a 1993 Georgia Supreme Court decision in (Red & Black Publishing Co., vs. Board of Regents) which the staff of the student newspaper at the University of Georgia believed that it should be
granted access to the records and proceedings of the university’s student organization court.
The motion also said Moore’s representation have requested from both MSU and Cohen personally information related to medical treatments received by other baseball student-athletes
Mississippi State and Cohen’s representation in the motion claim again FERPA protects them from disclosing that information.
In this motion Mississippi State and Cohen have requested the Circuit Court of Oktibbeha County order that Moore’s request for this documentation by denied and not allow further inquiries of such information.

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