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You’ve Got Mail: College Crosse’s Public Records Update

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We heard back from everyone in our second wave of requests.

Post Offices Brace For Busiest Mailing Day Of The Year Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As many of you know, we submitted a public records request to Florida State back in June asking for any emails to or from either Florida State President John Thrasher or then Athletic Director Stan Wilcox, after statements President Thrasher made in late May about him wanting to get another sport at the school, namely lacrosse.

The experiment went very well and we decided to email similar lacrosse-related records request to other large public Division I schools that didn’t have a men’s and/or women’s lacrosse team. Our second wave of schools included the universities of Texas, Illinois, Washington, Georgia, & Connecticut.

Unfortunately, while we did receive a response from every school we reached out to, the information provided wasn’t as enlightening as was the case with Florida State. You can find a chart of our requests directly below.

College Crosse Public Records Chart

University Athletic Director Records Request Sent Response
University Athletic Director Records Request Sent Response
Florida State Stan Wilcox Yes Yes
Univ. of Texas Chris Del Conte (M), Christine Plonsky (W) Yes No information responsive to request
Univ. of Illinois Josh Whitman Yes No information responsive to request
Univ. of Washington Jennifer Cohen Yes Yes
Univ. of Georgia Greg McGarity Yes Confirmed receipt
Univ. of Connecticut David Benedict Yes Yes

I’ll go through each response we received. Just a heads up, we had to use screenshots of the responses in this post as most of the correspondences from the schools were emails only.


University of Georgia

Unfortunately, while Georgia confirmed receipt of our request, they didn’t follow up with a response afterward. I sent a follow-up email this past weekend, but I am not crossing my fingers that we’ll hear from the Bulldogs anytime soon.

University of Texas & University of Illinois

We struck out with Texas & Illinois. Both schools responded to our requests, but after completing their search, neither had any information responsive to our request.

University of Washington

The Huskies confirmed receipt of our request, but unlike Georgia, Washington actually did follow up with some results. Unfortunately for our purposes, the results consisted of two emails from the general public to Athletic Director Jennifer Cohen inquiring if the Huskies were thinking about adding women’s lacrosse. You can find the initial response from the university directly below and the actual emails responding to our request (I’ve removed personal identifiers) directly below that.

Email #1

Email #2

University of Connecticut

Connecticut also confirmed receipt and then followed up with one email responsive to our request. The email in the UConn response was from a a private lacrosse group that was interested in the news story about UConn benefactor Peter Werth’s statement that the university should have a men’s lacrosse team. The email author wanted to offer up his group’s services if UConn was looking into creating a committee to look into the possibility of adding lacrosse.

Unfortunately, the email provided by UConn was not in a shareable format and since I didn’t have the program they use at UConn for their emails, when I downloaded and opened the file, all that appeared was over 300 pages of code with portions of the message interspersed throughout the document. While I couldn’t share the email provided by UConn, you can find the messages from UConn’s public records official who responded to our request.


What Have We Learned?

Not much! Unfortunately, none of the responses from Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Washington, or Connecticut provided any information from school officials on the topic like in the case with Florida State. Washington was the only school that included an email from their AD in their response, and even that wasn’t very substantive.

However, the lack of records does indicate that lacrosse is not really on the radar at any of the five schools in our second wave of requests. Is it possible that the ADs at these schools are using private email accounts or some encrypted messaging app to plot out their lacrosse futures? Maybe! However, I think the more likely reason is that lacrosse just isn’t on the front-burner at any of these schools.

What’s Next?

Onto the next one! We sent another wave of emails this week. Below is a completed chart of all of our records requests as of August 29th. Schools with a (w) next to their name already have women’s lacrosse. I’ll try to post as they come in, even when there’s no information responsive to our request.

College Crosse Public Records Chart As Of August 29, 2018

University Athletic Director Records Request Sent Response
University Athletic Director Records Request Sent Response
Florida State Stan Wilcox Yes Yes
Univ. of Texas Chris Del Conte and Christine Plonsky Yes Yes (No information responsive to request)
Univ. of Illinois Josh Whitman Yes Yes (No information responsive to request)
Univ. of Washington Jennifer Cohen Yes Yes
Univ. of Georgia Greg McGarity Yes Yes (Confirmed receipt)
Univ. of Connecticut (W) David Benedict Yes Yes
UCLA Dan Guerrero Yes
Univ. of Wisconsin Barry Alvarez Yes
Univ. of Oregon (W) Rob Mullens Yes
Univ. of Arizona Dave Heeke Yes
Univ. of Louisville (W) Vince Tyra Yes
Univ. of Colorado (W) Rick George Yes