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Kent State Banning Athletes from Using Facebook 428

denebian devil links to a Columbus Dispatch story about athletes at Kent State being forbidden to use Facebook — "not by the Web site, but by university administrators." From the article: "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. ... If student-athletes don't remove their profiles by the deadline, they risk losing their scholarships, he said. Coaches and athletics counselors will monitor the site for violators." denebian devil continues "Arstechnica also has an interesting take on the subject. Makes you wonder why they even bother providing internet connections on college campuses."
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Kent State Banning Athletes from Using Facebook

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  • Excessive force (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 2.7182 ( 819680 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:51PM (#15608448)
    Apparently, they just didn't learn their lesson!! Now they are just trying to be controlling digitally.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:51PM (#15608454)
    ... under "Prior Restraint." (Which, I'm told, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected.)

    A state university with this kind of policy is setting themselves up for the mother of all First Amendment lawsuits. What an amazingly-dumb waste of university funding.
    • Not to mention the fact that Teacher & University administration is notorious for complaining about how they don't have enough time to give these same students a quality education. Now they are supposed to spend HOW long trying to monitoring every website that might allow the students to have a personal profile, online 'persona' etc?

      Beyond ridiculous
    • I'm not sure a state univeristy is completely out of bounds here. The supreme court might very well rule in their favor. Hell, they allowed the military to recruit on campus despite the fact that their "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates many state universities' written policies on discrimination against gays.
      • Many college policies on gay discrimination are not binding beyond being able to internally take care of the matter. Also, many states legistators reserve the right to determine policy about discrimination for state institutions so many of these policies are on shaky ground at best. If federal government gives you money, they get some say in how you manage your organization. Courts might rule in favor of universities being able to control money flow to students in the terms of revoking scholarships but not
      • Actually, I believe that any university (state or private) can refuse to allow the miltary to recruit on campus. The catch is that they have to accept the forfeiture of federal funds for that decision.
        • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:46PM (#15609575) Homepage
          But the university, it's alumni, employees, students, and their families, all still have to pay taxes to support all the other universities that choose to discard their principles and take the money, so they have to pay twice, once for the education they actually get, and again to subsidise the competition. It's just another way of letting the state control education while pretending we're still free.
    • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:56PM (#15609630) Homepage
      A state university with this kind of policy is setting themselves up for the mother of all First Amendment lawsuits.

      Not true. US courts have repeatedly ruled that, as participation in extracurricular activities is not a required part of the educational mission, it can be subject to restrictions that would otherwise be unconstitutional. That's why drug tests for Algebra II are not allowed, but drug tests for Basketball are.

      The major advantage they have at the university level is that athletic scholarships are tied to eligibility (and sometimes even performance), so getting kicked off the team also takes away the money you're using to pay for school.

      Note that I don't support this move (though I can understand picking the low-hanging fruit), but it's certainly within their authority.
      • College athletes on scholarship are entertainers, and getting well paid for it. Part of their value as employees of the college is their public image. If they don't like the rules they are free to leave for greener pastures.
    • This is about BASIC FREEDOMS here! I'm gonna ENJOY my coffee.
  • wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:52PM (#15608469) Journal
    is this even legal? I would think that what an adult choses to do in their provate time is their business... besides that, how are they any more or less safe on face book than on any internet site/chatroom in which they provide a large amount of information about themselves...

    I suspect that this has far more to do with the uni wanting to protect its image - which for some reason it believes would be more damaged by people being on face-book than than this action to put stupid restrictions over what people can do
    • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:55PM (#15608497)
      Not to mention people pay to attend University (well, maybe not some athletes). It's not like the Army where you get paid and benefits in exchange for temporarily signing over your constitutional rights.

      I hope the students speak out, because it they who have the power and their presence lets the University run.
      • Re:wow (Score:2, Insightful)

        by remin8 ( 791979 )
        I agree, it is the students paying for a service (education). If the university has to dosomething to preserve their image they should either kick these students out, administer random drug tests, restrict access to these sites on their networks, or just not enroll the types of people that like to drink and party and embarass them (oh wait, thats about all 18-22 year olds (at least engineers!)).
      • Re:wow (Score:3, Funny)

        by arivanov ( 12034 )
        Err... What in particular makes you think that if they speak up the university administration will not use the national guard to make them keep their mouth shut. After all this is Kent State we are talking about. It has traditions to uphold in this area.
      • Re:wow (Score:3, Informative)

        by t35t0r ( 751958 )
        Constitutional rights are the law of the land unless you're in the army or work for the fed government in some capacity as a spy. A state government cannot pass a law that violates a constutional liberty. If it does then it can be taken to court. Far be it for a uni to pass some assinine policy to keep their students' mouths shut.
        • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:12PM (#15609409) Homepage Journal
          Thing is, the only teeth this has is that the student loses their free ride. I think the university may be in the clear on this as whomever is giving away the money can set limits. That said, a paying student should not have said limits imposed, else the 1st rots away further.
          -nB
          • Re:wow (Score:3, Interesting)

            Hm. Interesting perspective on scholarships. Let me show you another one, from Europe.

            We have state sponsored education in my country. You can also pay if you want to get into the university with a bit lower scores.

            We have a grant system based on a student's average grade. On the top of that we've got scholarships, you apply, they tell you if you've been accepted, you sign a form (not a contract! It is governed by educational law so no contract is required).

            If a university would tell me to quit being
      • Re:wow (Score:3, Insightful)

        by StikyPad ( 445176 )
        Except they're not telling athletes what they can do; rather it's a condition of receiving scholarships. And they can certainly decide who to give money to and who not.

        "If student-athletes don't remove their profiles by the deadline, they risk losing their scholarships, he said. Coaches and athletics counselors will monitor the site for violators."

        If they started kicking them off the team or expelling them, that's one thing, but they're just threatening to revoke scholarships.

        More serious action may still
        • Re:wow (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rolfwind ( 528248 )
          However, you say "they can certainly decide who to give money to" but isn't this specific decision a bit retroactive? Now, I'm sure there are clauses in all that paperwork, but it's not deciding who to give money to, but controlling them afterwards as I'm sure this specific rule was not in play before. Afterall, once a student agrees to a scholarship, they restrict their options in some ways and are ceding control to the universities and the students have to trust the schools to play fair and not be compl
      • Re:wow (Score:4, Funny)

        by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:53PM (#15609619) Homepage
        Not that it excuses the kind of CYA mentality, but certain plenty of religious affilitated image conscious schools require their athletes sign a code of conduct, like no drinking in public, etc, as a condition of recieving the scholarship. Apparently Kent State believes these sorts of ties between conduct and finance aren't enough to prevent it from being known that their athletes aren't infalliable supermen who excel in athletic, academic and moral standing, and wishes to add what is essentially an NDA to their contract.

        Something here is broken. Maybe it's that Universities, institutes of higher education, are resorting to sporting events as a recruiting campaign. Maybe it's the number of schools pitting athletes against each other such that success requires dedication to the exclusion of personal growth. Maybe it's students, for being so vain as to photograph themselves in comprimising situations, and think that the public Internet is a suitable place to distribute these to close friends and strangers alike. Maybe it's you and me for watching the whole thing. But lets face it, there's no Rose Bowl for the most wholesome two teams in the nation. The Final Four aren't the four people left at the party who refused to hook up with drunken coeds.
    • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:00PM (#15608538) Homepage
      is this even legal? I would think that what an adult choses to do in their provate time is their business...

      Adults can also choose to enter into contracts. Since these are students recieving athletic scholarships, my guess is that it's legal to say "if you want this free money, you can't use facebook". It's the same way that NFL teams can write contracts that forbid things like skydiving or riding motorcycles.

      Not that I approve of the practice in this case -- it seems to me that banning social network sites so your jocks don't post up the stupid shit they do is attacking the problem from the completely wrong side. But this is a university system, so expecting them to do things that make sense is a tad unrealistic.
      • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tenton ( 181778 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:10PM (#15608625)
        Adults can also choose to enter into contracts. Since these are students recieving athletic scholarships, my guess is that it's legal to say "if you want this free money, you can't use facebook". It's the same way that NFL teams can write contracts that forbid things like skydiving or riding motorcycles.


        Yeah, but can you retroactively add to the contract? That is, when they signed on (for their scholarships), was that restriction there, or anything remotely resembling it (for example, an NFL contract stating that you can't do dangerous activities, which could be applied to trying to do stupid things on a motorcycle, ala Kellan Winslow Jr.).

        Plus, looking at the article, it's a move to "protect" the student-athletes. From the article:

        Kennedy said some Kent students who list phone numbers and addresses have been contacted inappropriately, either by strangers or sports agents.

        Although Kennedy said he regrets limiting the students' ability to communicate, he sees it as a necessary step.

        "It would be irresponsible on our part if this led to something serious," he said.

        The move to ban the site came from students and coaches expressing concern over safety and privacy issues. Kennedy said he hasn't seen the site.


        Why must the adminstration do something about this? Putting your own information on a public site is not a great way to maintain your privacy, one would think; i.e. if one is worried about privacy, then how about not putting things like your address, phone and class schedule up for all to see?
        • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:18PM (#15608696) Homepage
          Yeah, but can you retroactively add to the contract? That is, when they signed on (for their scholarships), was that restriction there, or anything remotely resembling it (for example, an NFL contract stating that you can't do dangerous activities, which could be applied to trying to do stupid things on a motorcycle, ala Kellan Winslow Jr.).

          I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing that there is language in the scholarship agreement that allows the university to impose restrictions of this type. I mean, I'm guessing that Kent State might have a lawyer that they ran this past.

          That aside, I don't see what the big deal is here. It's not as if this is being imposed as a requirement for attendance at the University, it's being instituted as a condition of accepting a free education in exchange for participation in an extra-curricular activity. If you as a student athlete find that unacceptible, you can always take out a loan like the rest of us did.

          If you want to start talking about outrages related to athletic scholarships, this is the wrong end of the pool to start in.
          • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

            by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:24PM (#15608756)
            That aside, I don't see what the big deal is here. It's not as if this is being imposed as a requirement for attendance at the University

            Step 1: Become coach
            Step 2: Demand female athletes put out on command or lose their scholarship
            Step 3: Profit (every day and twice on sunday)

            It's okay by you, right? Because they can just drop out of school.
            • Re:wow (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward
              If you took a second to consider your thinking here, you may have realized that while you can write a legally binding contract forbidding one party from engaging in a legal activity, you cannot write a contract requiring one party to engage in an illegal one.

              So, while I can write an athletic scholarship demanding that a student participate in a given sport in order to get the money, I cannot write one that forces women to have sex with me (since that would be coerced sex or, depending on the attitude of the
        • Re:wow (Score:5, Informative)

          by murphyslawyer ( 534449 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:20PM (#15608715) Homepage
          Yeah, but can you retroactively add to the contract? That is, when they signed on (for their scholarships), was that restriction there, or anything remotely resembling it
          At least back when I was in school (5 years or so ago now), my scholorships were renewed on a semester-by-semester basis, and I'd have to fill out a sort of mini application each semester to continue getting my funds. My guess is they just new added legalese to the form, and while they can't retroactively make students comply right now, they can certainly prevent them from getting future money.
        • Re:wow (Score:3, Informative)

          by garcia ( 6573 )
          Yeah, but can you retroactively add to the contract? That is, when they signed on (for their scholarships), was that restriction there, or anything remotely resembling it (for example, an NFL contract stating that you can't do dangerous activities, which could be applied to trying to do stupid things on a motorcycle, ala Kellan Winslow Jr.).

          Speaking as a graduate of BGSU and a scholarship athlete there (same conference), you signed the forms at the end of every year accepting your scholarship funds and then
      • Re:wow (Score:3, Insightful)

        Adults can also choose to enter into contracts. Since these are students recieving athletic scholarships, my guess is that it's legal to say "if you want this free money, you can't use facebook". It's the same way that NFL teams can write contracts that forbid things like skydiving or riding motorcycles.

        First, there are a lot of protected rights you can't sign away, no matter how hard you try. The majority of contract signed in this country probably have at least some unenforceable terms as a result. Se

      • It's the same way that NFL teams can write contracts that forbid things like skydiving or riding motorcycles.

        Neither of which have anything to do with government money being used (as it is a state university) to block people from exercising free speech in the manner they see fit. Even if the scholarships are not funded by the government, the university itself is still funded by the state, and it takes time and effort to implement the restriction and to police it, so what you have here is the government cre
      • Adults can also choose to enter into contracts. Since these are students recieving athletic scholarships, my guess is that it's legal to say "if you want this free money, you can't use facebook".

        I doubt that using Facebook is covered in the original "contract" governing the receiving of a scholarship. So since when can one party to a "contract" unilaterally change its terms on the other person? I see here a lawsuit waiting to happen.

      • is this even legal? I would think that what an adult choses to do in their provate time is their business...

        If challenged, this policy will most likely be struck down. It is wrong to implement mass bans on actions such as these, and probably encroaches on a few key liberties that we're guaranteed.

        Since these are students recieving athletic scholarships, my guess is that it's legal to say "if you want this free money, you can't use facebook". It's the same way that NFL teams can write contracts th

        • If challenged, this policy will most likely be struck down. It is wrong to implement mass bans on actions such as these, and probably encroaches on a few key liberties that we're guaranteed.
          Shit.

          You mean we have a constitutional right to a college scholarship?

          I wish I knew that earlier.
      • Signing a contract does not make something legal. e.g. you can sign a contract for a worker where both agree on a payment of 1USD per hour. Most likely such a contract will be illegal, no matter how both parties agree to it.

        Also other things can make a contract illegal, depenting on the state and/or country you live in.

        So it might still be illegal, even if people sign the contract.
    • Re:wow (Score:5, Informative)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:03PM (#15608565)
      I don't know how it works at Kent but when I went to BGSU (as a scholarship athlete) we had to sign tons of paperwork including a "Code of Conduct"-like document that would have waived my right to pretty much anything legally binding.

      If you weren't 18 you couldn't sign it without your parents co-signing it. I was 18 and thus a legal adult. I assume that Kent would be doing something very similar (hell they probably use the same paperwork being that they're in the same conference).

      Kent doesn't exactly have an "image". They are just another college in the Midwest that no one cares about.
      • Kent doesn't exactly have an "image". They are just another college in the Midwest that no one cares about.
        Google respectfully disagrees [google.com]
      • Kent doesn't exactly have an "image". They are just another college in the Midwest that no one cares about.

        They most certainly do have an image. [wikipedia.org] It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1971.
      • Re:wow (Score:3, Insightful)

        Kent doesn't exactly have an "image".

        You're not familiar with recent US history, eh? Go to iTunes, type "ohio" in the search, and listen to the 30 second clip.

    • by hyfe ( 641811 )
      Remember, it's only censorship if it's the government doing it.
  • Dumb Students (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ggKimmieGal ( 982958 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:54PM (#15608479)
    At my own college, security uses facebook to find out about parties and underage drinking on campus. Chances are, someone put stupid info up and has ruined i for everyone. Do I feel bad for them? Not at all.
    • That's why you set up your privacy settings so that only your friends can see the stupid ass shit you do. If security busts you then you know your "friends" really aren't.

  • by TexasDex ( 709519 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:54PM (#15608484) Homepage
    Protect the university's image

    "Our students don't drink! Honest"

    I can attest to the fact that lots of students post drinking photos, even joining groups like "I was drunk when my facebook profile photo was taken". Kent state is worried about this. While I'm guessing they're wringing their hands at such open bragging about underage drinking that sort of thing is a fact of life, from long before facebook existed.
    • While I'm guessing they're wringing their hands at such open bragging about underage drinking

      It's funny to think of "underage drinking" as "drinking under 21" as in Belgium you're legally allowed to drink from the age of 16.

      Even before you're allowed to drive a car...

      I'm not sure what's better though, I used to get wasted when I was 16-17. Now I'm 24 and I barely drink as I lack to see the "cool" or "fun" of it other then once in a while a glass of wine with a nice dinner.

  • Myspace? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cherita Chen ( 936355 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:54PM (#15608485) Homepage
    Why Facebook and not Myspace? I've never even heard of "Facebook"...
    • Re:Myspace? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Azarael ( 896715 )
      Facebook pretty similar to myspace except it is geared more towards student(post-secondary) networking. It's basically the easy target, I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens to myspace (like it is in high schools).
    • Facebook is like Myspace, only (a) it requires authenticating that you're a member of the community that a network is geared to (traditionally universities) by providing a valid email address (i.e. a .edu email address from the university in question), (b) it doesn't allow users to make their profiles shittily-designed, (c) it has privacy controls, and (d) there are people on there above the mental age of 14 years.
    • Re:Myspace? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord Ender ( 156273 )
      Myspace is the networking site for the Facebook rejects. Everyone in college uses facebook, and only a few use Myspace, also. But since you can't get on Facebook without a college email address, the uneducated masses (and the old people) have no option but to use Myspace.

      Facebook is the "cool kids' table" at lunch, and is technically superior to Myspace in almost every way.
    • by JimBobJoe ( 2758 )
      Why Facebook and not Myspace?

      Because the main "advantage" of facebook is also its main disadvantage. Since the profile is automatically associated with your college email address, the facebook profile becomes an extension of your "college identity" and what you present on there is more or less irrevocably associated with the college you go to (there are now ways around this, but circumventing this basically makes having a facebook profile meaningless.)

      Will KSU care what their student athletes put on Myspace
  • No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TildeMan ( 472701 ) <gsivek @ m it.edu> on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:54PM (#15608486) Homepage
    The Duke lacrosse team will do for college sports what Janet Jackson did for network TV. Nobody should be surprised that college sports don't want any more such negative publicity, and anyone who has used Facebook knows that its users are almost as dumb as Myspace users when it comes to posting incriminating pictures and other details of their lives. (Almost. Not quite. At least these are college students instead of pedophiles, adolescents, and aspiring criminals).
  • by nebaz ( 453974 ) *


    I think this violates the first amendment "Congress
    shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech... the right of the people
    peaceably to assemble". This is an implicit freedom of association issue, and as a
    state funded school, Kent State has an obligation to uphold the constitution.

    They do as an institution with an internet connection, have the right to
    blacklist certain websites at their ISP level, which would probably be the best
    technologica
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:01PM (#15608549)
      This does nto violate any aspect of the United States Constitution.

      Why not?

      The school did NOT say "You can't do this."

      The school DID say "If you want to participate in our optional program, or continue to receive funding from us, then you will not do this."

      There's a difference.

      The kids can do what they want. If they want to participate in the athletic program, then they have to meet the terms provided for participation. It is a voluntary course of action. We're not talking about people who have no choice, or even people limited to a binary set of choices.
      • The school DID say "If you want to participate in our optional program, or continue to receive funding from us, then you will not do this."

        Actually, the school says "then you will not do this", then a few years later said "oh, and this too."

        It's a state institution, that means the government is in charge. Would you let them change the terms of other contracts on a whim? Like your bond payout. Or your army service contract?
      • The school DID say "If you want to participate in our optional program, or continue to receive funding from us, then you will not do this."

        And they cannot do that because they are government funded and are therefore expected to uphold the First Amendment. There was time spent in considering, creating, writing, implementing, and policing this rule. That means that the government is responsible for imposing censorship in direct violation of the highest law of the land.

        This should be revoked before it is ever
      • The school did NOT say "You can't do this."

        That is, in effect, what they did say. It is completely unconstitutional for them, as a government institution, to use this form of coercion to restrict free speech. You need to go back and study up on constitutional law and then you'd be able to use your own name to post comments.

        P.S. listening to Bill O'Reilly will not make you better informed about the US Constitution.

      • The school DID say "If you want to participate in our optional program, or continue to receive funding from us, then you will not do this."

        There's a difference.

        The same goes for the school as a whole. All the taxpayers have to do is say, "sorry, Kent State, but if you want state money for the school, you have to play by our rules, which include the First Ammendment." Problem solved.
    • I think this violates the first amendment "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech...

      Interesting. I missed the part of TFA where congress made a law preventing scholarship recipients from using Facebook. I take it you believe that all NDAs are unconstitutional too? I'll have to remember that if I am ever in a position to do business with you.

    • Since you brought up the Constitution, you reminded me of one thing. How can a university ban the possession of firearms on their campus? Isn't that a right protected by the second amendment?
      I'm a gun enthusiast (don't carry concealed - I do go to ranges 1-2 times a month though), but as far as I know almost every university has a policy disallowing firearms on campus, not just restricting licensed concealed carry but prohibiting students from having firearms in dorms, university-owned apartment, or on an
  • Proof? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tansey ( 238786 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:55PM (#15608494) Journal
    Is this even enforceable? Last time I remember checking, facebook didn't provide any way to check that a person's registered profile is actually them, outside of saying the email is from the actual school. Last year my friend registered himself as Kwami Brown and started poking all the guys on the hall.

    What's to stop someone from taking a Kent State player's identity and creating a fake profile of them?
    • Absoutely nothing. This happened to a girl on my floor sophomore year. Her 'image' never really recovered, she's still mocked and berated to the point of depression for it. Another one had a similar issue, but she's sort of a bitch anyway.

      Oh... hrm...
    • Re:Proof? (Score:3, Informative)

      What's to stop someone from taking a Kent State player's identity and creating a fake profile of them?

      Simple. There's no possible way to hide the e-mail address that you signed up for the account with. Regardless of any other privacy settings, if someone can see your profile on Facebook, they can see the address that the account is linked to.

      Now, this isn't entirely foolproof from fake profiles. At my college, anyone with an account can log into the directory and create groups of e-mail addresses. If you
  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:55PM (#15608503) Homepage
    But she stressed the importance of excluding information employers wouldn't want to see.

    One student chose a picture of himself shirtless holding a Miller Lite can for his profile photo. He's on the baseball team.

    Another belongs to the "My cell phone is my best friend when I'm drunk in Kent" group and lists skinny-dipping as an interest.


    I always thought these were good things on a pro-athlete's resume?
  • Dont universities concent to joining Facebook? IE when one signs up for facebook one does so with there University email and password. If Kent State wants to stop their students from using facebook because of there listed reasons, cant they just stop being apart of facebook
  • by Control Group ( 105494 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:57PM (#15608512) Homepage
    ...away from the internet as a network for data exchange, and towards the internet as a one-way pipe by which to push content your way.
  • by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:58PM (#15608518) Journal
    Is your free speech for sale ? It is if you want to keep that scholarship. This is a great example of how growing economic inequality spills over into other aspects of life. A well off student can afford to take a stand on principle here.
    • Is your free speech for sale ? It is if you want to keep that scholarship. This is a great example of how growing economic inequality spills over into other aspects of life. A well off student can afford to take a stand on principle here.

      Yeah, because we all know that in the real world there are no trade-offs like this. Now, if you'll excuse me I have a blog entry to write that's critical of my employer and mocks my boss. And why not? I mean, what could happen?
      • Apparently YOUR opinion is for sale as well... or did you just not get the GP's point at all?
  • by revery ( 456516 ) * <charles@cac 2 . net> on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:00PM (#15608548) Homepage
    It is fairly obvious that the school is less concerned with preventing students from engaging in illegal activity and undesirable behavior than it is with preventing it from becoming public knowledge that students are engaging in illegal activity and undesirable behavior. If they had come out and said, "If we catch you confessing to activities that violate our code of conduct, you will face disciplinary action", that would be quite another thing altogether. (Not that people wouldn't complain, I'm just saying I think they could make a pretty decent defense of their actions.)

  • by Avillia ( 871800 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:03PM (#15608567)
  • His email address is lkennedy@kent.edu [mailto].

    It's on Kent State's website.

    Please be civil. Honey, vinegar, and all that.

    His phone number is actually on the website too, but if you want that, put out the effort yourself. I don't advice calling. Sending a letter is probably the best way to be heard... So to speak.

  • My Favorite Part (Score:5, Interesting)

    by richdun ( 672214 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:11PM (#15608630)

    The move to ban the site came from students and coaches expressing concern over safety and privacy issues. Kennedy said he hasn't seen the site.

    So not only has the guy making the policy not even seen the site, but the move supposedly came from students and others - the same students who were posting there in the first place? "Higher" education is so smart.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:12PM (#15608646) Homepage Journal
    Makes you wonder why they even bother providing internet connections on college campuse
    Um, perhaps because it is easeir to plagerize papers using the internet? But seriously, one could consider research for papers, help with math and science papers. Most universities, perhaps you haven't been in one recently, pay for a large number of resources, that are really quite expensive, to thier students and faculty.

    Of course, it may be that millions of dollars of infrastructure and millions in connections fees are what is neccesary for the modern college student to get a date. I just had to ask the babe that sat next to me in Calculus.

    To be more serious, I understand that this ban has more to do with public image, and could be construed as censorship. But think of ti this way. The average athelete is on scholarship, which mean he or she is there at the whim of the university and those alumni that donate to the university. If, due to something posted on the net, such funds become unavailable or the students freedom becomes compromised, then the student does not get an education. We all know that adolescents and young adult do silly things, and none of us really want to impose any significant consequences for the most of the silly things kids do. The minor things are often best handled in house in such a way that boundries are enforced, but the future of the student is not compromised. It may seem funny to post teammates drinking, or in drag, or pretending to commit some felony, but in the competitive world of althletics, where perhaps 1:500 gets into college ball, and 1:2000 gets into pro ball, such actions may not be insignificant.

    And think of it another way. When one enters college, escpecially on an scholarship, and especially on an athelitic scholar ship, one is asking the college to help guide you to a hopefully more promising future. A significant number of freedoms and rights are given away. Unlike other 18 year olds, you are in class and studying, instead of working at starbucks for 8 hours then coming to you apartements and doing nothing. The college students has any number of people using thier experience to navigate a specific educational journey, even though it is theorectically possible to navigate that same path using free resources. In other words, the student is attending the university to help insure a specific outcome, and has accepted some limitations to achieve that outcome.

    To put it simpler, if facebook is so important, an athelete could gain an education and even break into the majors without a university. It is not impossible to his the minors and work the ladder to the majors. But if one wants a univeristy degree, or wants the NCAA help, then one should have a little trust in the people in charge. If there is no trust, then why go to that school? If the school is so corrupt, then why accept the tainted money?

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:16PM (#15608681) Homepage
    "Makes you wonder why they even bother providing internet connections on college campuses."

    Oh you know, research, email, that sort of thing. This may surprise you but the original intent of providing internet access was not to pass around mp3's, pictures of yourself drunk, and porn (well, that last one is debatable).

    You would think students over the years would have gotten better about using the internet but it seems it has regressed quite a bit. I am reminded of reports of students at the university where I work getting busted selling drugs on facebook and posting pictures of themselves doing illegal things. In the papers they always seem quoted as indignantly saying "I didn't know the police could monitor that stuff, that is really scary" as though cops looking at facebook was on par with warrant-less wiretapping.

    Look, I'm a Fight The Power, Go EFF, Die MPAA kinda guy. However, the way I see it is if a school is giving you tens of thousands of dollars for your education and they decide they want you to either (1) not advertise that you are a drunken asshole all over the net, or (2) risk losing that free money, then that is their right. I think it is a little harsh to ban facebook altogether, I think I might have seen one or two actual mature entries in it, but that is certainly on more solid legal ground than subjectively taking it on a case by case basis.

    Also, you can look at it as preparing these student athletes for the future. If they make it to the pros and become the typical corporate whore, they will have to get used to being told how to act, what to say, and what to do. College is actually preparing them for the real world ;)

    Finkployd
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      Oh you know, research, email, that sort of thing. This may surprise you but the original intent of providing internet access was not to pass around mp3's, pictures of yourself drunk, and porn (well, that last one is debatable).

      I completely agree. The purpose of my little commentary (which perhaps was lost) was that if the school really wants to keep people from posting their personal information or embarassing stories of schooltime drunkenness and debauchery on the internet, they're going to have to unplug
    • However, the way I see it is if a school is giving you tens of thousands of dollars for your education and they decide they want you to either (1) not advertise that you are a drunken asshole all over the net, or (2) risk losing that free money, then that is their right.

      You would be correct if this were a private university. However, as a government institution, KSU has higher standards to uphold. The Constitution doesn't block private institutions from blocking free speech, but it does prevent the governme
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:18PM (#15608700) Homepage Journal
    Isn't Kent State the college where they executed Vietnam War protesters [wellesley.edu] in the 1970s?

    I guess the only lesson the college learned from that hideous exercise was that published pictures of their students can get the college into trouble.

  • They worked well in the past, especially at Kent State!

  • Selected grafs from one of TFA...

    "College athletic programs being what they are, many schools depend on the revenue generated by sports programs as a significant source of funding."

    Don't have a cite at hand, but as I recall very few schools actually see net benefit from athletic tied funding. Mostly athletic money goes to funding more athetics, or at least more expensive athletics.

    "Kent State officials have also expressed concern over the personal information posted by student athletes. That data has been u
  • Another [student] belongs to the "My cell phone is my best friend when I'm drunk in Kent" group and lists skinny-dipping as an interest. She competes in track and field.

    And I want to be her new best friend. I have a shore house, want to come visit?
  • I went to Kent read, Kent write, Kent State - lived in a dorm and all that. Not many rules, really.

    I think it's important to note that this applies to _student athletes_. This isn't a first amendment issue. I don't see anything at all wrong with SA's having to abide by a different set of rules for situations like this. They're getting _scholarships_ from the school AND they're representing the school and its image to the NCAA, other institutions, etc. As far as their being ambassadors for the school, I
  • How many athletes with scholarships can the university afford to lose? 'Cuz we all know, universities don't appear to care more about their sports programs than their academic programs a lot of the time... no, not at all. So how about every athlete making sure to create a profile on Facebook in protest? I seriously doubt the university can stand up to that sort of coordinated protest, considering they may lose some star atheletes.

    And for any university officials curious enough to be reading this thread, sha
  • "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..."

    Of course, they don't care if "ordinary" students have their identities stolen, are stalked, or whatever... just their star athletes.
  • by Corvaith ( 538529 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @06:47PM (#15609306) Homepage
    I'm a Kent student. And while I know this is by far not universal among the athletes at this campus, at least going by the ones who I've seen in classes:

    Good, if not good enough. Because they're getting a ridiculous amount of money in the form of scholarships and such, in exchange for which they do terribly in classes (dragging their groups down with them, much of the time), drink as much or more as anybody else here (which is no small amount) and then go throw a ball around every now and then in exchange.

    No, I don't have sympathy. Stop showing off your drinking skills and go to class. I'd be happier if they'd prevent them from drinking and tell them to stop using the team as an excuse to ditch classwork when they apparently have plenty of time for parties. Considering very few of them are going to be able to rely on sports as a career, I'd be happier if the University was less concerned with image and more concerned with the fact that the images are often of underaged students drinking alcohol. But... oh, right. I go to a state school in Ohio. Chances of that happening... slightly less than zero. They'll probably end up cutting the whole ban later due to lack of funds for enforcement.

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