Attorney’s discussion with student athletes focuses on online hazing

Ryne DiPerna

Kent State’s student athlete community crowded into the Kiva last night to listen to Janet P. Judge, an attorney at Sports Law Associates LLC.

Judge, who was a three-sport athlete and lettered eight times at Harvard University, gave a presentation entitled “Hazing, Student Athletes, and the Internet.”

“One in five student athletes are subjected to unacceptable and potentially illegal hazing,” Judge said. “Hazing doesn’t have to be actually (physical), it can also be emotional hazing.”

Judge’s presentation mostly focused on hazing in the digital age.

“Anything out on the Internet is fair game,” she said.

The presentation cited several Web sites such as and, which exist solely to post pictures of intoxicated student athletes.

“Time magazine listed as one of their top 25 blogs,” Judge said.

After talking about recent news events involving student athletes and the Internet, the sports law attorney talked to the athletes about their Facebook accounts. She warned the athletes to not post anything privately that they wouldn’t post publicly.

Judge also warned of potential future employers increasingly using Facebook and other social networking sites to check into behavior.

“Google makes it too easy not to do it,” Judge said. “They don’t know you or the story that goes with the picture, and (they’re) deciding if they want to hire you.”

Judge also touched on the recent controversy involving Facebook’s new Terms of Services agreement, humorously likening the legal jargon to “lawyers on crack.”

The athletes were encouraged to change their privacy to the friends-only setting. Judge also stressed for the athletes to understand their Facebook access and what it covers.

Contact student life reporter Ryne DiPerna

at [email protected].