by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 18th 2010 4:10pm
College sports have become a big business. That's no secret. We see it all the time, and at times that's used to stifle elements of free speech, such as in making fan-created t-shirts and such illegal. Now it's going even further. Romenesko points us to the news that the University of Kentucky, a state-funded university, has banned the distribution of a free student newspaper at the University's Commonwealth Stadium before football games. Apparently, UK has a marketing contract with sports licensing giant IMG, which they believe gives IMG a monopoly on any media efforts around the stadium. Of course, plenty of folks are pointing out that this is a pretty clear First Amendment problem. It's a public government-owned entity, forbidding the distribution of speech. The contract with IMG is meaningless as you can't contract away others' free speech rights. It sounds like folks are gearing up for a legal challenge here, which should be worth following.
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