Why Don’t We Know Podcast
The Portal

The Portal

September 13, 2020

It's designed to be hidden. Public universities are turning to private portals to shield information that otherwise would be part of the public record. Host: Sara Ganim. Reporter: Camille Respess. Guest: Paula Lavigne, Judith Wilde, Jim Finklestein.

EXTRA: When speech isn’t free, but it should be

EXTRA: When speech isn’t free, but it should be

September 7, 2020
Unconstitutional speech policies aren't just for college athletes. In the midst of a global pandemic, we found that resident assistants are also told they can't speak to the media without first getting permission.

 

What is a FOIA Anyway?

What is a FOIA Anyway?

August 30, 2020

The ability to request records from public institutions is part of the law, and in theory, should take a few weeks, at best. But after nine months, when several universities hadn’t responded to some requests at all, we started calling to see what was going on. Host: Sara Ganim. Guests: Terry Mutchler, Dave Cuillier, Matt Reed.

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

August 24, 2020

Why Don’t We Know how to stop hazing deaths? It’s one of those sadly persistent stories, with no real progress being made toward a solution. Host: Sara Ganim. Reporter: Jessica Curbelo. Guests: Daphne Beletsis, Doug Fierberg, Walter Kimbrough, David Easlick.

A Deadly Reversal

A Deadly Reversal

August 16, 2020

There’s a hidden and deadly danger inside many public university buildings, but no one is talking about it, no one is regulating it, and it’s nearly impossible to find on your own. Host Sara Ganim interviews attorney Mike Robb about a case of a deadly reversal. Other guests: Erik Olson, Barry Castleman, Linda Reinstein.

More Than Just a Code of Silence

More Than Just a Code of Silence

August 9, 2020

Our research found that many major public universities have policies that silence athletes, robbing them of their first amendment rights. The policies are not only restrictive, they’re unconstitutional. Host Sara Ganim talks to Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, about the impact of this bad policy, and why no one has challenged it.

Invisible Injury

Invisible Injury

August 9, 2020

Ever since Junior Seau propelled the horrors of chronic traumatic encephalopathy into the general public, we’ve repeatedly heard a singular narrative from those in charge of the sport of football: The sport is safer than ever. 

But how do we know that?

At the college level, we’ve never seen those raw numbers. And so Season 1 of Why Don’t We Know set out to find the answer. Are there really fewer concussions than there were a decade years ago?

We asked 100 public universities across the country for their aggregate numbers — broken down by sport — for the past ten years, and if they didn’t have data for ten years, we said, that’s ok, give us as many years as you have. 

The answer is really unsatisfying.

We still don’t know if head injuries are truly declining, and the reason we don’t know is that more than one third of the major universities that we asked —  major conference powerhouses in the Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC — they don’t know either. 

They don’t know because they’re not tracking it.

Why Don’t We Know

Why Don’t We Know

August 4, 2020

We expect government secrecy from the Pentagon or the CIA — not from our universities and our schools.

But in many cases, institutions designed to protect our children are instead hiding critical information.

It leaves us asking a lot of questions. One of which is simple…why don’t we know?

Over the following episodes, we are trying to figure that out.

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