Florida released the incident report today for the sexual assault investigation being done by university police involving freshman quarterback Treon Harris. Now, state law says police have the right to redact out any information that's key to the investigation. Also, there are protections in place for victims of rape. Those are good things.
But that doesn't explain how Florida released 18 pages of nothing. I worked in newspapers across Florida for nine years, mostly covering crime. I have read a lot of incident reports and seen my fair share of massive copy blocks of black. But not a single sentence is readable in this report's narrative—not one single sentence! Not even the usual, "I responded to a report of a possible sexual assault." Or perhaps the almost always closing line, "The investigation continues." Is literally every word in 18 pages of narrative critical to the investigation?
Nobody expects everything in the report to be released. But in era of growing sensitivity to the special treatment given to college athletes accused of rape, a drop of transparency would do Florida a lot of good. Gators love to think they're better than their Panhandle rival (I know; I graduated from UF), but releasing reports like this makes the two state schools seem all the more similar.
Image via Associated Press