People like to drink when they’re watching sports. I’m not aware of any actual study done on this topic, but I’m fairly certain that it’s one of the most accurate things that I’ve ever written, and thanks to SMU, I’m now even more convinced.
According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, SMU sold nearly $350,000 worth of beer and wine at 13 homes games in 2014, more than half of the almost $650,000 in concession sales from Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs didn’t start selling the booze during games until January, when the newly-renovated arena was reopened.
Nine of those 13 games were sellouts, meaning all 7,000 seats were filled, and while this was the first season that SMU was selling alcohol at games, those sellouts were more likely the result of the team actually being good than the fact that a booster would be able to sip on an overpriced light beer while watching the game.
In order for students to drink, they needed a wrist-band saying they were over 21. Only three drinks were allowed to be sold per to each of-age student, with tabs given out as the students entered the arena.
More schools are beginning to use booze as a way to generate more revenue at their athletic events, and while not all of that money goes back to the university — Aramark and other vendors will get their cut, too — but this is possibly a way to bring in money to pay for things like full-cost of attendance scholarships or even a stipend for the athletes.
Having beer available at the games might also be a way to curb some of the pregame binge-drinking.
Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.
Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.
“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.
“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”
Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.
This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.
Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.
“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.
This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.
He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.
The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.