University of Texas Settles Olympics Lawsuits

The University of Texas agreed to settle two lawsuits over an Olympic Games archive by paying a foundation $405,000 and issuing a VIP parking pass.

College officials agreed Tuesday to pay the Foundation for Global Sports Development and provide foundation trustee Steven Ungerleider VIP access to campus. The university also promised to retain him as a founding member of an advisory board and provide him with previously confidential information about the archive.

The 2013 lawsuits stemmed from a canceled plan for the college to borrow, catalog and digitize a massive archive of Olympic records from McGill University in Canada. The university abandoned the project after it grew wary of violating privacy and copyright restrictions and attempted to remove Ungerleider from a university advisory board, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The foundation sued the university, accusing it of making false promises of access to the collection to induce the group to donate. Ungerleider also sued the university in November, arguing it urged college employees to retaliate against him.

UT denied both allegations.

The 350-box collection has 400,000 pages of documents that provide background on television rights negotiations, anti-doping efforts and the slaying of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Games. It also contains medals and torches and all meeting minutes from the International Olympic Committee since its founding in 1894.

The university has returned the archive to the Canadian university.

The settlement agreement was reached after a 13-hour mediation session while a retired judge supervised.

The university agreed to provide the foundation and Ungerleider with a legal memorandum by Vinson & Elkins LLC about copyright issues over the archive. It will share university lawyers' notes taken during their review of the collection to McGill University as long as the Canadian school agrees to it.

The Texas university will also cancel unfulfilled pledges by the foundation and Ungerleider.

A university spokesman said Ungerleider's appointment as an unpaid research fellow will not be renewed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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