As FIRE noted, athletes on an athletic scholarship may have contractual terms that include being held to a higher standard. Now whether that higher standard can include censorship is a legal question that would have to be examined. But FIRE raises a more important question?
Even if increased online scrutiny for student-athletes passes constitutional muster, which is by no means clear,ethical questions about the use of a product like YouDiligence remain: Does the online student speech monitored by YouDiligence really fall under the purview of collegiate athletic departments? What degree of privacy can a student-athlete expect to enjoy? Further, if schools feel comfortable monitoring online speech for athletes, what is to stop them from extending their observations to the general student population?Now, to be perfectly fair, FIRE often raises the slippery slope argument, but in this case they are right to do so here as well.
Technolocially, YouDiligence may not be able to monitor the Facebook or MySpace pages of the entire student body of a major public university, but that does mean that it would be capable in the future. While the University may have a duty to protect the physical security of its student body, does that duty extend to protecting the public from the words of a student? I think not, but in essence that it what the colleges who consider this progrma are doing? If someone is offended by what a student-athlete or any student says in a Facebook site, what duty does the university owed to the offended person? The university would argue none-and they would be right. So, if you look at the situation from another point of view, if the offended person is defamed by the student, who is liable? It won't be the university. So what is the university really doing here? Not protecting its interests, it is censoring students--plain and simple.