MSU, Cohen Seek to Withhold ‘Irrelevant,’ Protected Info

Mississippi State and its baseball baseball coach, John Cohen, have filed a motion for protective order (hereafter called MPO) regarding information requests made by former player Forrest Moore. That is, they are asking the court to safeguard “irrelevant, private and confidential information related to students other than” Moore, who is suing Cohen and MSU.

The motion was filed in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court on Friday.

In his discovery request filed to MSU a few weeks ago, Moore attorney Douglas Foster asked that the defendants produce several documents and other information related to scholarship information for Moore and other players. Foster has also requested medical information from Cohen regarding other players. MSU and Cohen say all the requested information is A) protected by privacy laws and B) not relevant to the case.

Among the requests and interrogatories made by Foster:

• That MSU admit it didn’t provide Moore written notice by July 1, 2010 that it wasn’t renewing his scholarship for the 2009-10 academic year.

• That MSU admit it didn’t provide Moore written notice that he was entitled to a hearing regarding his scholarship.

• That MSU provide names, telephone numbers and scholarship percentages for all players in the 2008-09 academic year.

The MPO states that financial aid info about other players is irrelevant to Moore’s contention that MSU committed a breach of contract against him. MSU also cites FERPA laws.

Foster has also sent requests to Cohen seeking injury information, and the MPO again cites FERPA laws in denying those requests. Foster has asked for the types of surgeries performed on any baseball players, the dates of those surgeries, the doctors involved, and the reasons for the surgeries.

The MPO calls these requests irrelevant to Moore’s claim that Cohen intentionally injured his pitching arm during the 2008-09 academic year. In fact, the MPO states, “Moore’s claims do not depend upon or require any evidence regarding Moore’s own medical condition, much less the medical conditions of other students who are not parties to this case.”

The MPO says Cohen must provide his own answer to Foster’s discovery requests by July 18 (a week from today).