Since I have absolutely zero legal background, I was hoping some of the legal scholars in our midst might be able to shed some light on something for me.
Back in May, the Columbia Missourian filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the University of Missouri requesting records pertaining to Missouri's discussions with the Big Ten Conference. The result of the request was the following (emphasis added):
The University of Missouri system declined to provide records of correspondence by Athletics Director Mike Alden involving any mention of the Big Ten Conference, citing a provision of the Sunshine Law that protects records regarding contract negotiations or sealed bids and proposals.
At the time, this provision seemed 100 percent justified on the assumption that Missouri and the Big Ten Conference were in conversation about realignment. Now that we've been able to witness the fallout from conference realignment and Missouri and the Big Ten seemingly had no contract negotiations, is this defense for the denial of records still valid? And if the exemption is still valid, wouldn't that imply that a proposal from the Big Ten was on the table, something that seems clearly unsubstantiated based on how realignment transpired?