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.
Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.