Public denied access to athletics board meetings

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A decision by the University of Tennessee to start denying public access to athletics board meetings is raising questions.

UT officials previously allowed the media to attend meetings, but decided to stop that policy last year.

Since then, it started meeting more frequently, cut its membership by more than half and stopped keeping minutes of meetings.

UT officials say the board meetings are exempt from state open meeting laws because the board is only making recommendations and not "making decisions."

Tennessee Press Association Public Policy Director Frank Gibson says the moves raises questions about the need for secrecy if the group has no authority and no power.

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