College Controversy "Brewing" over Drinking Age; Booze on Campus and Tailgating

David NethersCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2008

The Youtube video leaves little to the imagination.

Entitled simply "Tailgating Video" the post is said to have been taped "at Towson University (Towson Maryland) 10/13/2007 (as) students and fans showed up to...cheer on their team."

Its tags include "Towson University, Drinking, Partying, Tailgating and Football"

As the video plays the student activities appear to include beer pong, chugging contests, and funneling something other than gatorade. 



For its member schools the NCAA Executive committee  promotes "legal and responsible use of alcohol by fans outside the stadium or arena (e.g., tailgating).   Prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages during all preseason, regular season, conference and postseason intercollegiate athletic events.

It also prohibits on-site alcohol advertising during events, and prohibits media advertising of alcohol beverages that exceed six percent alcohol by volume. 



Last Month More than 100 college coaches  sought a tougher stance on alcohol advertising during athletic events asking NCAA President Myles Brand to eliminate ALL alcohol advertising in telecasts of college sports. “We strongly urge you to take actions against all alcohol advertising—including beer advertising—on NCAA sports telecasts,”

The effort had the support of 59 college presidents and 239 athletic directors.

But the NCAA Executive committee declined to make any changes in its advertising policy.



Alcohol seems a component of tailgating as a custom.

Like many other schools across the country trustees at Michigan State University in 2005 adopted a policy banning open containers on campus.  

The exception: on home football game days, open alcohol containers will be allowed for those of legal drinking age in tailgate lots. 

Ohio State University's Official Policy is "Underage drinking and excessive consumption are not acceptable or legal and will not be condoned or tolerated"


Since 1984 legal drinking age across the country has been 21 years old. That doesn't stop alcohol from flowing on college campuses.


In its "Alcohol Alert" The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism concludes: Research consistently shows that people tend to drink the heaviest in their late teens and early to mid-twenties. This high level of alcohol use comes at an age when people are moving away from parental restrictions but before they take on the full responsibilities of adult life.

At this moment 129 college and university presidents and chancellors are petitioning lawmakers to "re-think" the legal drinking age saying 21 is not working...

Their movement called 'The Amethyst Initiative' argues 21 actually makes young people more likely to abuse alcohol. "A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed"

Among the signees is President E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University.

The movement is said not to be about lowering the drinking age, but to force "a serious debate among our elected representatives about whether current public policies are in line with current realities.

If you are not familiar with those "realities", i invite you once again to view the youtube video