How the Ducks monitor Twitter

Update: Idaho athletic director Rob Spear suspends quarterback for tweeting that Idaho athletic director Rob Spear is “stupid”. And petty and insecure as well.

Chip Kelly got a lot of buzz for saying, in response to WSU coach Mike Leach’s twitter ban, “If you can’t trust a player with twitter, how are you going to trust them on third down?”:

Nice sound bite, but actually the Ducks don’t trust their players with twitter. Last year they hired a guy named Tom Hart, with this job task:

30% Monitoring athlete-agent activity and perform regular surveillance on campus, in the community and in cyberspace for the purposes of NCAA compliance and state law.

And of course talking to a reporter without permission can really get a UO athlete into trouble. Tom Hart’s full contract is here – lots of other interesting responsibilities. UO has refused to turn over his resume, but a commenter notes he has years of state police experience, including SWAT team and anti-terrorism training. Anyone got a photo of him? 10/26/2012.

Merry Xmas to bloggers and the First Amendment,

from the law professors at the The Volokh Conspiracy:

I’m pleased to report that our local counsel, Benjamin Souede of Angeli Law Group LLC, and I will be representing the defendant blogger in Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox (D. Or.); we will be filing a motion for new trial, and an appeal to the Ninth Circuit if the motion is denied.

Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) held that even private-figure libel plaintiffs (1) may not recover proven compensatory damages unless the defendant was at least negligent in its investigation, and (2) may not recover presumed or punitive damages unless the defendant knew the statement was false or recklessly disregarded a known and substantial risk that the statements were false. The District Court in Obsidian Finance held that the defendant was not entitled to the protection of Gertz, because she was not a member of the “media.” But as I’ve argued in my forthcoming University of Pennsylvania Law Review article, Freedom for the Press as an Industry, or for the Press as a Technology? From the Framing to Today, the First Amendment has historically been understood as protecting people who use mass communications technology equally, whether or not they are members of the institutional media. I much look forward to litigating this case, and, I hope, getting the District Court decision reversed.

Thanks to!/MarshallYoum for the link.

Elephants come to Matt Court

8/25/2011: Tickets here. Stefan Verbano of the RG explains the pros and cons. UO spokesperson Phil Weiler on the dispute:

“Free speech is central to the academic mission of any university, and
we want to let anyone on both sides of this issue to have their say,”
Weiler said.

Nice. I can’t remember the last time I heard that from the UO administration. OK, it was never. Any bets on how quickly they will give it up when things really get controversial? Very quickly. Last year the Commentator quoted our Dean of Students Paul Shang as saying:

Canada has limitations of speech. England, Israel, all kinds of democratic countries have different perspectives on unbridled speech. That is something that may become more of an issue as our country evolves.

As our country evolves to ….?


2/3/2010: Adam Kissell of The Foundation for Individual Rights has a good piece on Pacifica and free speech at UO:

The “safety” rationale fails in the absence of truly proscribed speech, such as true threats (and even then, it would be unclear whether an individual threat would be enough to discipline the entire group). …  In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, the Supreme Court determined that, even in high schools, “undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression.” (Emphasis added.) Tinker is binding on public colleges like University of Oregon as a minimum requirement—colleges must tolerate much more freedom of speech than must high schools.

Thanks to Dane at the Commentator for the link – they have a lot of sensible posts on this, like this, by Evan Patrick Thomas. Nice work Mr. Thomas, whoever you are.