FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1996-264
June 4, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Thomas D. Williams and The Hartford Courant, Complainant
against
Director, Office of Communications, University of Connecticut, Respondent

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 6, 1996, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The case caption has been amended to correctly identify the complainant Williams in this matter.

Geno Auriemma and James A. Calhoun, whose records are at issue in this case, requested and were granted intervenor status at the hearing on this matter.

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

2. It is found that by letter dated July 15, 1996, the complainants requested, among other things, copies of documentation concerning the endorsement contracts between the University of Connecticut ("university") head coaches Auriemma and Calhoun ("coaches") and manufacturers of athletic equipment and apparel.

3. It is found that under cover letter from the respondent dated August 12, 1996, the complainants were provided with copies of all of the information requested in their July 15, 1996 letter, except those records relating to the endorsement contracts of each coach.

4. By letter of complaint dated and filed with this Commission on August 16, 1996, the complainants appealed the respondent's denial of the requested endorsement contract records.

5. It is found that: both coaches have endorsement contracts with certain manufacturers; the activities associated with such contracts are entirely separate from the duties each coach performs as a public employee with the university; and pursuant to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s reporting regulations, the university receives, reviews and retains a copy of each such contract.

6. It is also found that the university has no role in the negotiation, performance or payment of the subject endorsement contracts.

7. Section 1-19(b)(5), G.S., provides, in relevant part, that disclosure shall not be required of "commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute."

8. It is found that the subject endorsement contract records were provided to the university in confidence and contain commercial and financial information not required by statute, within the meaning of 1-19(b)(5), G.S.

9. It is therefore concluded that the subject contracts are exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(5), G.S.

10. In light of paragraphs 8 and 9 of the findings, above, the Commission need not consider the respondent’s claims under 1-19(b)(2) and 1-20a(c), G.S.

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 4, 1997.

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

Thomas D. Williams and The Hartford Courant
Matthew Kauffman
285 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06115

Director, Office of Communications, University of Connecticut
c/o Paul M. Shapiro, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
University of Connecticut
605 Gilbert Road, U-177
Storrs, CT 06269-1177

Gerald A. Roisman, Esq.
Roisman & McClure, P.C.
31 Grand Street
Hartford, CT 06106-4692

Suzanne E. Caron, Esq.
Solomon Kerensky, Esq.
Kahan, Kerensky & Capossela
45 Hartford Turnpike - Box K
Vernon, CT 06066

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC 1996-264/FD/eal/06161997