NCAA Sanctions Sale of Alcohol at College Events

Following a pilot program that experimented with the idea at the Women’s College World Series a few weeks back, there will be NCAA-sanctioned alcohol being sold at the CWS for the first time. Nothing makes conversations about sportsbetting boxing odds more interesting than alcohol.

Over forty schools are expected to sell beer to the public this fall, this making alcohol a staple of college events from this point onwards. According to Chuck Neinas, an aging former NCAA administrator, if it’s legal to buy pot in Colorado, then selling beer at college events shouldn’t be a problem.

According to Ron Prettyman, a NCAA official, they were forced to act in response to fan support for the idea of selling beer and wine at certain events, though parties like CBS Sports have raised concerns about the prospect of underage drinking.

Only a select few schools were offering alcohol in stadiums and arenas, that is until West Virginia popularized the trend in 2011 when it made alcohol available inside Milan Puskar Stadium (for legitimate reasons at the time).

Some people think that the NCAA and certain schools are being driven to support this trend because of the massive amounts of money they could garner from alcohol sales, which is a valid consideration, what with Texas earning at estimated $1.8 million from wine and alcohol sales at football games last season.

Though, according to Kristi Dosh, a Forbes Sports business contributor, this is hardly life changing money.

With plans being drawn up to try these programs out in baseball and softball, certain NCAA officials believe that selling alcohol inside stadiums could prevent binge drinking outside the stadium.

Times were different in the past. Walter Byers, NCAA executive director had to deal with a lot of pressure in 1963 regarding the sale of alcohol at the CWS. The discussions that followed were a little less civil, though the opposition to the idea was clear.

Presently, only one CWS fan has been removed from a stadium for drunken behavior, this suggesting that the introduction of alcohol might not lead to reactions as volatile as people presume.

People in Nebraska are a little less open to these pilot programs, Nebraska AD Shawn Eichorst admitting that they are afraid of alienating some people, though even he agrees that this trend will eventually become common practice, and one cannot ignore the benefits.

Ohio State, which began serving beer in arenas last season, will use the revenue earned to aid the Ohio State Police Department. There is a lot of pressure to go with the trend.

West Virginia had to cave into pressure to sell alcohol inside stadiums because of all the drunken behavior ensuing outside, especially during half time when people are allowed to go out and drink.

For some people, the possibility of alcohol advertising is too enticing and it could open the door for more revenue.

Professionals in the sports arena believe that this question of alcohol has been analyzed to death over the decades, so much so that any pilot programs launching now should have every safety measure in place to deal with the unexpected, this including the addition of family friendly, alcohol-free zones. 

For people like Sheehey-Church, whose son was killed in a drunk-driving accident, there will never be a place for the sale of alcohol at college events. 

  • Loretta Pittman