Action Alert: House Resolution to Eliminate Alcohol Ads on NCAA Sports Broadcasts -- Contact your U.S. Representative Today!

May 2005

 

On March 9, 2005, U.S. Representative Tom Osborne (R-NE), joined by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), and Ed Case (D-HI), introduced House Resolution 145 in the House of Representatives, calling upon the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to end all alcohol advertising during radio and television broadcasts of college sporting events. (This resolution is identical to H. Res. 575, which Reps. Osborne, Wolf, and Roybal-Allard sponsored in the last Congress.)

 

Representative Osborne's Press Release

CSPI Press Release (from previous identical bill)

 

 

What H. Res. 145 Does

H. Res. 145 urges the NCAA to voluntarily eliminate alcohol ads during radio and television broadcasts of collegiate sports events. That action would affirm universitiesí commitment to discourage alcohol use among underage students and other young fans.

This resolution is not binding legislation, i.e., it would not have the force of law, if passed. It would express the opinion of the House and send a strong message to higher education leaders that Congress recognizes the inappropriateness of beer advertising in college sports.
 

 

Why It's Needed

 

In 2002, the alcoholic-beverage industry spent $58 million on commercials during college sports programs; $28 million of that was spent on 939 ads aired during that year's NCAA basketball tournament.  That compares with the 925 ads aired during the Super Bowl, World Series, college bowl games, and Monday Night football combined.  Alcohol ads appeared twice as often, on average, during NCAA championship broadcasts than during other sports programs, and 16 times as often, on average, than during all television programs.  Among the viewers of those alcohol ads were large concentrations of avid fans who are underage college or high school students.

 

College and university presidents know that drinking is the number one health problem on campuses today.  Two out of five college students are binge drinkers; 1,400 college students die each year from alcohol-related injuries; more than 70,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape; and 500,000 students are injured under the influence of alcohol each year.

 

Andy Geiger, athletics director at Ohio State University, thinks "it's inconsistent toÖdiscourage underage drinking and turn around and huckster the stuff on your [college sports] broadcasts."  CSPI polling shows that a large majority of Americans agree.

 

[Passage of this resolution would provide a real boost for our Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV.  We are circulating a "College Commitment" statement asking schools to end alcohol ads during their games.  Already 228 schools, more than 20 percent of the NCAA, have signed on.  For more information on how you can help, please visit the Campaign's website.]

 

 

What You Can Do

 

Call, fax, or e-mail your Member of Congress today and urge him/her to sign on to House Resolution 145 

Here's how to do it:

 

Phone:

  1. Call your U.S. Representative's Washington office.  (If you don't have the number, call 202-224-3121 and the Capitol Switchboard will connect you.)

  2. Ask to speak with the staff member who handles alcohol and/or health issues.

  3. Whether you speak with a staffer or leave a message on his/her voice mail, your message is the same.  Identify yourself as a constituent and ask the Member to contact Rep. Osborne's office (202-225-6435) to sign on to H.Res. 145.

E-mail or Fax:

  1. Some Members have e-mail addresses, while others prefer that you send your comments via their web site.  Fax numbers are generally made public. Click here to look up your Representative's contact info.

  2. Sample message:  I urge Representative [Smith] to sign on to House Resolution 145, recently introduced by Representative Tom Osborne.  That resolution seeks a real reduction in the promotion of alcohol to young people in this country.  Feel free to personalize your message by expressing your own concerns about beer ads during college sports broadcasts, or adding any relevant information from your district. For example: Given the problems we have with underage drinking here in [Atlanta], our kids don't need to see beer ad after beer ad while watching otherwise great March Madness basketball games.  It sends the wrong message about athletics and healthy lifestyles, and reinforces the incongruous connection between alcohol and college sports.

 

Itís that simple. And itís really helpful.

 

For further information, contact Amy Gotwals, Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, at agotwals@cspinet.org or (202) 332-9110.

 

 

 

Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV

Center for Science in the Public Interest

1220 L St. NW Suite 300  |  Washington, D.C.  20009

Phone: (202) 777-8385  |  Fax: (202) 265-4954  |  Email: BeerFreeSportsTV@cspinet.org