Athletic departments review athletes’ web profiles

According to the paper, when asked if there were any red flags in the report submitted by the reviewer, UW senior associate athletic director Vince Sweeney said: “Your idea of a red flag and my idea of a red flag might be different. I’ll leave it at that.”

Major college athletic departments have taken great interest in these interactive social clubs because some content – namely lewd pictures, profanity and personal threats – can be construed as embarrassing to the school.

Earlier this spring, several members of the Northwestern University field hockey team posted on photos demonstrating questionable behavior and unethical conduct. As a result of the photos being made public, the program was temporarily suspended, several players quit, and the head coach resigned. However, Northwestern is not alone. As reported by the Montgomery Advisor (link here), many other unethical photos and messages involving athletes, or from people pretending to be athletes, have been posted on social networking websites like or

As a result Loyola University of Chicago and Kent State University (Newhouse News Service, link here) have limited their athletes from creating profiles and using social networking websites. Such a response, however, has consequences which impact the First Amendment rights of athletes to free speech.