Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Kent State bans athlete use of Facebook

Kent banning athlete Web profiles

When you become an athlete you give up your First Amendment rights? Facebook? Please!

Seems to me that how an athlete spends their free time, of which they have far too little, should be their own business. Athletes have to pee in cups on demand, have their Internet use monitored by the athletic department, and now have it completely banned? What‘s next, no cell phones or text messaging? Maybe they should consider RFID implants, and GPS anklets? Perhaps they should construct athletic villages (compounds), and they could take all their courses through H.323 conferencing. Then they wouldn‘t ever have to associate with non-athlete students. All these measures would make them far safer I‘m sure.

I‘m not buying for one minute the university‘s concern for the student-athlete‘s safety. If that were the case they wouldn‘t put their rosters with the athlete‘s photos, hometown, and all sorts of other personal identifying information on the university‘s Web site.

Athletes are too isolated in their own small subculture as it is. Attempting to isolate them even more is absurd.

But soon, Kent State‘s nearly 400 athletes will be banned from Facebook — not by the Web site, but by university administrators.

Athletics Director Laing Kennedy recently told student-athletes they have until Aug. 1 to remove their Facebook profiles, citing a need to protect both their identities and the university‘s image.

“We‘re really concerned about the safety of our student-athletes and some of the personal information some of them have on there,” he said.

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