The Citadel on Saturday released information it had previously withheld in a campus police report about the theft of more than $5,000 worth of computers and electronics in Murray Barracks.
On Friday, the school released the report but the names and other identifying information of the eight cadets who reported the theft were blacked out.
Citadel General Counsel Mark Brandenburg said the decision to delay release of the full report balanced state Freedom of Information Act requirements for public disclosure with privacy rights.
Students left campus after Saturday graduation ceremonies. Publishing the eight cadets' names today was not an unreasonable invasion of privacy, he said.
"We felt it was important to protect their privacy right," Brandenburg said.
Although the school did not initially release the full report, it should be credited for doing so the next day, said Jay Bender, attorney for the South Carolina Press Association.
"Sometimes the right thing comes slowly. No matter how it happened, it seems to me they figured it out," Bender said.
Generally, a police report is public, but there are exceptions such as Social Security numbers, names of rape victims and information that could endanger someone's life.
The cadets told the Citadel Department of Public Safety that they had left their rooms unlocked at the Murray Barracks on Tuesday when the thefts occurred. They were taking final exams and attending several off-campus events celebrating the end of the year. When they returned to their rooms not long after midnight Wednesday, the cadets reported the thefts of four laptops, two iPods, sunglasses and $350.
There was a "strong odor of alcohol" from each of the cadets, according to the report.
The cadets were Patrick Lally, 21, of Cary, N.C.; Mason Ackerman, 19, of Greenville; Drew Dekerlegand, 19, of Pearland, Texas; Regan Wilbanks, 20, of Barnwell; Jacob Horton of Pawleys Island, described as being between 19 and 21; Eric Thomas of Lebanon, Ohio, listed as being between 18 and 20; and Cody Baird and Robert Hogan, both of Charleston, reported as being between 19 and 21.