Sep 302004
 
Authors: Christiana Nelson

Alcohol has run dry for students at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes

Stadium, but alcohol advertisements still tap the stadium’s

football culture.

After the university suspended alcohol sales in student seating

at Hughes, pending the Feb. 1 report by the CSU Alcohol Task Force,

some students believe keeping alcohol advertisements at the stadium

is hypocritical.

“(The university) took away alcohol, but the signs are still

there and it is kind of like saying it’s OK, but we’re not going to

give it to you here. It’s almost like they are saying, ‘If you do

it behind our back, we’ll turn the other way,'” said Mark Rising, a

freshman sociology major.

Lena Withers, a senior political science major, agreed.

“It sends mixed signals to students that it is OK to get money

from alcohol for things we want, but it is not OK for you to drink

the alcohol – it just seems hypocritical, I guess,” she said.

A sponsorship contract with Coors Brewing Company still has

“several years” until it expires, and the university “has every

intention of pursuing” the alcohol company’s sponsorship in the

future, said Gary Ozzello, senior associate athletic director.

At Saturday’s home game versus Montana State, Jeremy Peterson

noticed large Coors posters underneath the new digital video board

and heard the Coors theme song during the game.

“It seems kind of pointless to have the posters up there when

they are not selling it. Why have it up if you can’t have it?” said

Peterson, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.

The athletic department recognizes the conflict and is working

with Coors to develop a responsible drinking campaign for stadium

alcohol advertisements, Ozzello said.

The theme song will no longer play at football games “due to the

sensitivity” of the alcohol issue at CSU, but the department still

hopes to remain partners with Coors, Ozzello said.

“Coors Brewing Company has been a great supporter of athletics

at Colorado State for more than three decades,” Ozzello said.

The six-figure revenue from Coors alcohol advertisements goes

toward producing athletic schedule cards, posters, media guides and

also sponsors the video board, Ozzello said.

“Coors is the most significant sponsor in the athletic

department, and even university-wide,” Ozzello said.

While Sam Bartlett, a junior English education major, disagrees

with the alcohol ban at Hughes, he believes shifting the focus of

advertising to drinking responsibly is a good idea.

“Obviously people are going to drink, but putting it in a light

of being more responsible is less hypocritical and sends a better

message to students,” Bartlett said.

Despite conflicting views, Pam McCracken, director for the

Center for Drug and Alcohol Education, believes the athletic

department is taking steps in the right direction to deal with

alcohol advertisements.

“This is an interesting dilemma … most likely if alcohol is to

be banned it should be banned everywhere,” McCracken said. “I think

working with the industry can prove to have win-win solutions and

that we need to explore all the options while working with the

industry (of) alcohol distributors.”

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