Kent State Sports Says No To Facebook

    June 27, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Student-athletes at Kent State University will have to remove their profiles from Facebook or risk losing their scholarships. The first question that comes to mind is “Why just student-athletes?”

Kent State Sports Says No To Facebook
Not Everyone Wants To Be On The Internet

The Columbus Dispatch reported on the decision by Kent State to ban its athletes from the networking site.

Athletic director Laing Kennedy’s decision affects about 400 athletes at the school, who have until August 1st to remove their profiles or risk reprisals from the university. The reason for this? Protecting student identities and the university’s image.

Kennedy said in the report that students who list phone numbers and addresses have been contacted inappropriately, either by strangers or sports agents. That led to this passage in the report:

“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.

Does this mean Kent State will delete student-athletes from campus phone directories, which have been the way strangers and sports agents have found contact information about them in the past?

Banning Facebook entries does little to protect student-athlete identities, since they are going to be published by local, regional, and even national media based on their athletic performance. Usually with photos, sometimes in full color.

Why doesn’t Kent State go all the way in protecting its students and ban Facebook completely from campus? Doesn’t the talented scholarship student majoring in biotech deserve as much protection as the soccer midfielder?

Kent State’s position here looks more like a halfway measure that protects its image in the national limelight, and more importantly the multi-billion dollar athletics industry of which it is a part. The school is demonstrating exactly what it values with the decision – money.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.