Emails show OSU officials fretted over coverage

Posted at 7:32 PM, Dec 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-27 14:40:06-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)-- Internal documents and emails show Oklahoma State University officials fretted about the school's public image as details emerged about the sexual assaults of several male students on campus.

The documents obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request show university attorneys also maintained it was appropriate to withhold details of the alleged attacks from police.

An OSU attorney insisted the federal law prevented officials from disclosing details of an internal investigation to police. That came even after an official from the U.S. Department of Education suggested the university had misinterpreted a portion of the Family and Education Rights Privacy Act.

In one email to OSU President Burns Hargis, Provost and Senior Vice President Robert Sternberg suggested "somebody ought to be called on the carpet for being so irresponsible."