Would SEC Ever Lift Its Ban on Alcohol Sales at Football Games?

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJune 19, 2015

LSU cheerleaders perform to the crowd outside Tiger Stadium before an NCAA college football game against Louisiana Monroe in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Every offseason, a handful of college programs take the plunge and begin selling alcohol at on-campus facilities.

This summer, one of the most prominent programs in the country announced it had joined the fray.

According to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), the University of Texas will sell beer and wine at home football games after it was sold at other facilities. 

As rivalries go, Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp naturally took a shot at his intrastate rival (via Gabe Bock of TexAgs Radio):

Gabe Bock @GabeBock

A&M chancellor Sharp on alcohol at events: "Our athletic program has not reached the point where we require the numbing effects of alcohol."

Trolling aside (which is always encouraged), the truth is Texas A&M can't sell alcohol at sporting events thanks to an SEC rule that dates back more than three decades.

Here's the rule the SEC office provided to Bleacher Report:

No alcoholic beverages shall be sold or dispensed for public consumption anywhere in the facility and the possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the public areas of the facility shall be prohibited. These prohibitions shall not apply to private, leased areas in the facility or other areas designated by the SEC. There shall be no advertising displays mentioning or promoting alcoholic beverages in the facility.

Essentially, that means no alcohol except in private suites.

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Will that change, though?

There has been some talk that the SEC could lift the ban as recently as 2014.

"Right now, they drink excessively in the parking lot before they come in because they can't get alcohol inside," LSU athletics director Joe Alleva said, according to Jon Solomon, formerly of AL.com. "Perhaps if they had access in the stadium, they wouldn't drink as much when they come in. I think it's something we have to talk about."

Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

All that is, though, is talk.

"While it’s mentioned from time to time in public domain, there were no substantive discussions, motions, votes, etc., regarding changing the policy in Destin," the conference said in a statement to Bleacher Report.

In fact, it really hasn't been brought up at all.

"I don't think it's ever been brought up in Destin [at spring meetings]," Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs told Bleacher Report. "To be brought up in Destin, that means there has to be some legislative proposal on the table, and in my memory, I don't remember that ever being the case."

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Sammie Coates #18 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with fans after they defeated the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 45-17 at Jordan Hare Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

But this is a changing world.

The cost of operating a competitive athletics department rises seemingly by the day, and in the age of autonomy, the inclusion of full cost-of-attendance scholarships will only accelerate those costs.

Because of that, schools are getting creative. Georgia Tech just hosted the Rolling Stones earlier this month for a concert at Bobby Dodd Stadium. As ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson reported in April, some of the money generated from the event will cover half of Tech's budget for full cost of attendance.

In the SEC, though, Mick Jagger and the boys aren't needed. At least, not for financial reasons.

"With the different revenues and expenses that we all have, I'm not sure that any one component—specifically cost of attendance or an increase in tuition—would be a reason why you would change what you do," Jacobs said. "I think we all are blessed from the SEC Network funding—I know we are here at Auburn—so we aren't forced to look for new ways to generate revenue."

If you're looking to enjoy a frosty adult beverage at a college football stadium for the low, low price of $8.50, you better try Austin, Minnesota or West Virginia, because you won't likely be able to anytime soon in the SEC.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.


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