In a move that would bring a cheer on the faces of students, the Division I Council of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently gave its nod for the sale of alcoholic drinks at Division I Championships event. However, in spite of the approval, the final decision will be taken after the closure of the board meeting on April 25.
For the past two years, the governing body for college athletics had resorted to a waiver to sell alcohol at many of its championships. The decision will only further the cause of some Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools, including those of the Louisiana State University (LSU), who have been arguing that the league lift its ban on the sale of alcohol across stadiums. In a panel discussion held at Samford University, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said that overturning such a “decades-long tradition “will not be “easy” and called the NCAA’s decision as only a “data point”.
Sankey further said, “We have some that would like to remove the policy and have others that have no interest in that.”
The policy can only be reversed if a majority of the 14 league presidents and chancellors vote in support of the proposal at the SEC’s meeting in Destin, Florida slated to be held next month. Joe Alleva, the LSU athletic director, while clearing his school’s standing on the issue said that the sale of beer at the venues would do a great deal in increasing attendance.
Meanwhile, the association in a recent document highlighted the favorable outcome of a pilot program wherein beer and wine were sold at championship events in 2016-17. The endeavor as was witnessed also led to a decline in the number of incidents related to alcohol.
Sankey also mentioned that he spent a part of the last fall doing research on the topics related to the sale of alcohol at various sporting events. His intent was to gauge whether such a sale reduced the number of incidents at the games as fans were less involved in binge-drinking prior to the game itself. He learned that pregame incidents waned drastically because fans were not involved in binge-drinking. However, he was also quick to point out the other aspects worth consideration while mooting a policy change in the sale of alcohol – Sankey specifically referred to the NFL games where free-flow of alcohol often results in uncomfortable situations.
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Alcohol consumption is a grave public health issue in the United States. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. The consequences are far-reaching as according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol intake led to the death of approximately 88,000 Americans just from 2006-2010. Moreover, people who indulge in binge drinking are at a high-risk of several serious health issues, sexually transmitted diseases and violent crimes.
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