CSPI Blasts NCAA Decision to Keep Beer Ads
Statement of George Hacker, CSPI’s Director of Alcohol Policies
August 8, 2008
The NCAA continues to put profit over principle by continuing to embrace advertising for beer—the number-one cause of alcohol problems—during its popular sports telecasts. In contrast, the NCAA rejects advertising for distilled spirits, most wine, sports wagering, gambling, nightclubs, firearms and weapons, and NC-17-rated motion pictures, among others.
The NCAA's decision came at the annual meeting of its executive committee yesterday. The NCAA's rationale for keeping beer ads in its basketball championship and other telecasts comes right out of the beer industry's playbook. It reveals an organization with its head firmly stuck in its wallet.
This week's action rebuffs the efforts of hundreds of NCAA college coaches, athletic directors, and college presidents and ignores the best interests of higher education and student athletics. The support for eliminating alcohol advertising from college sports has grown dramatically in the past year, and CSPI's Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV will continue to encourage colleges, college athletic conferences, and the NCAA to reform policies that result in the promotion of beer to underage viewers and the subversion of colleges' attempts to prevent and reduce costly and tragic alcohol problems.