In a year that has seen a fair amount of negative publicity at Duke’s expense, the Athletic Department has wisely advised its student-athletes to be leary of that which they post on websites and instant messenger profiles, according to a story in Wednesday’s Chronicle. Said Chris Kennedy, the senior associate director of athletics:

Our basic rule is don’t do anything to embarrass yourself, your team or the University. The message wasn’t don’t participate [in social networking sites]. It was just don’t do anything to embarrass Duke.

Last spring, Northwestern University was red-faced after multiple photos of its women’s soccer team surfaced on a website designed to do just that–post photos of college athletes behaving in a manner uncharacteristic of on-field performance. The activities are not necessarily illegal, but they are not exactly in line with the character a sports program of athletic department wants to create or exude.

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