Whit Babcock

Need for new revenue streams could lead to more schools selling alcohol at games

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In this age college athletic departments are constantly in search of a new revenue stream, with the costs of building and maintaining a successful department rising annually. While the most powerful conferences can also rely on lucrative television deals, that isn’t the case for all schools. And also to be considered is the ongoing Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, which could cost Division I programs millions of dollars should the plaintiffs win.

With these issues hovering over collegiate athletics, more programs are entertaining the idea of selling alcohol at sporting events according to Dan Wolken of USA Today. The decision whether or not to do so in most cases has been left up to the individual schools, with the SEC being the only major conference prohibiting its members from doing so.

The possibility of bringing in more money through a new revenue stream, which could become even more necessary in the near future, is something athletic directors find tougher to ignore.

“It seems like it’s going that way, and I think you’ll see more doing it,” said Virginia Tech athletics director Whit Babcock. “But it’s a cultural issue at a place of higher education where there’s a tradition (of not selling it). I don’t know that it will be one of the top things on my agenda. But as more people do it … I’ll definitely be watching.”

There are a number of issues to consider when debating the idea of selling alcohol at sporting events, one of which being fan behavior and whether or not extra security will be required. But there are plenty of spectators who drink beer and other alcoholic beverages at tailgates and/or bars prior to entering events, so the change may not be as drastic as it would seem at first glance (although that may not be the case from a liability standpoint).

Do fans have to have a beer in order to enjoy the game they’re attending? That depends on the person. But given the profits schools could make from selling alcoholic beverages, more may decide to go that route provided all possible scenarios are addressed while making plans to do so.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
AP Photo
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?


Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn battling foot injury

Lourawls Nairn Jr.
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Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.

According to a report from Kyle Austin of MLive.com, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.

The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.

If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.

Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.