ATHENS – Kirby Smart once again downplayed his role in a bill that makes Georgia the most restrictive in the country on responding to open records requests.
“That’s ridiculous,” Smart said, when told during a radio interview Tuesday that some are referring to it as “Kirby’s law.”
The law will give all athletic departments in Georgia – not schools, just the athletic departments – 90 days to initially respond to any open records requests. The soon-to-be-former period was three days.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that he is signing the bill, and it is set to take effect in June.
“I had very little to do with that,” Smart said on AM 680 The Fan. “I made a visit to the state capitol. I was asked about some things that were different. … From there everybody’s taken it and run with it.”
Athletics director Greg McGarity, asked about it on Monday afternoon, said “we’ve said all we’re going to say about that.”
State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, told an Atlanta TV station recently that the “pure and only intention” of the law was to protect the identities of football recruits.
“The pure and only intention on this is… so people don’t have access to find out who our schools are recruiting,” Ehrhart told 11Alive News.
However, the identities of visiting recruits are usually publicized by the recruits themselves, or found out by recruiting web sites.
Smart has declined to elaborate on what he told Ehrhart and other politicians.
McGarity said two weeks ago that the bill “helps us tremendously” because his staff was overburdened by FOIA requests. McGarity never mentioned recruiting.