Facebook, MySpace and the College Athlete

I am not a huge fan of Facebook or MySpace but I do have profiles on both.  I don’t sit and regularly check them as my teenagers do.  I do regularly check my teenagers’ profiles, though.  The problem is a lot of teenagers and early 20s kids don’t get that people other than your “friends” check your “life in cyberspace.”

The most recent problem is in Texas.  Mack Brown has removed a lineman from his team – not just for a game but for good.  The reason for Buck Burnette’s name no longer appearing on the Texas Longhorn roster – racial remarks towards President-elect Obama on his Facebook page.

When my youngest daughter left for Division I soccer pre-season a few years back, I remember her telling me that the coach had warned the girls at orientation to not post any pictures of under-age drinking on their MySpace or Facebook pages.  A lacrosse player had some pretty interesting drinking pics on one of her pages the year before.  She was no longer at the college or maybe it was that she was no longer playing lacrosse.  The point was, the coach had found out about this one player, along with teammates, breaking team rules via the internet.

Now, a scholarship and possibly – quite a few of Texas’s college players go on to play in the NFL – a future career have been ended.  First, the statement – which is no longer available along with the Facebook page – was ignorant.  It may or may not have been something the poster agreed with but just passing it on was not a smart move.  Second, I am pretty certain that the team was told that pages such as these would be checked.  Very few coaches check these things without telling the team first.

What do you think?  Did Mack Brown do what was right?  Did he overstep?  Do you think the NCAA should step in and make “no personal pages of any kind” a rule?