The SEC’s “decades-long tradition that’s been in place”

You know, before you read this post, think about what traditions are left for the Southeastern Conference to hold near and dear to its collective old heart.  This is, after all, the place where football teams can go over a decade before visiting some stadiums in the other division and the place where basketball schedules seem to be set almost on a whim.

So what is Greg Sankey feebly defending the honor of?

The NCAA this week is likely to abolish long-standing legislation outlawing alcohol sales at its championship events.

In the Southeastern Conference, meanwhile, prohibition reigns.

The NCAA Division I Council is set to vote on a proposal to eliminate a policy that has long kept booze out of championship events. The governing body for college athletics has used a waiver the past two years to sell alcohol at various championships, including the College World Series.

Such a waiver would no longer be needed if the council approves the proposal at meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in Indianapolis, which is expected.

The potential decision only furthers the growing push from some SEC schools — LSU included — to lift the league’s ban on stadium-wide alcohol sales. Commissioner Greg Sankey on Monday insisted that it won’t be “easy” to overturn such a “decades-long tradition that’s been in place,” he said during a panel discussion at the APSE Southeast Region meeting at Samford University.

The NCAA’s decision is only a “data point,” he said, in the conversation and not a “determinative for our direction.”

The no-brainer here would seem to be to let each conference program decide what’s best for itself with regard to beer sales, but that’s not how the SEC rolls.

So what’s stopping stadium-wide alcohol sales? Some member schools.

“We have some that would like to remove the policy and have others that have no interest in that,” Sankey said. “From a stadium wide (standpoint), there are those that think ‘Let’s just take the restraint off the conference level.’ But that’s not a unanimous or, I’m not sure right now, a majority position.”

The policy only can change through a majority vote of the 14 league presidents and chancellors…

Do I detect a faint whiff of the Georgia Way here?  Why, I believe I do.  Stadium booze is only for those who can hold their liquor; it’s a lucky coincidence that only those in the fancy seats are capable of that.

I still think at some point in time the dollars will rule.  It’s too easy a revenue stream to ignore forever, but in the meantime, I guess it’s hard to put a price tag on feeling holier than thou.


Filed under SEC Football

29 responses to “The SEC’s “decades-long tradition that’s been in place”

  1. TnDawg

    Are you suggesting that they take away the time honored tradition of smuggling liquor into the game? Man, what will happen next?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Macallanlover

    NCAA should not dictate policy on this to conferences, and conferences should not dictate to schools. If a school is so opposed, they should not play in conference tournaments where alcohol is available, and conference champs so opposed, should not play in national playoffs.

    I believe schools and conferences have the right to deny alcohol on venues they control, but not tell others what they can do. Don’t force your beliefs on others, just don’t participate if you feel that strongly. Let’s see how McGoofy imposes the policy of UGA not going to Atlanta for SECCG if beer is sold, could be what finally gets his butt kicked out of Athens.


    • TomReagan

      I don’t think it’s about forcing beliefs on anyone. It’s about, ‘if I’m not doing it, then no one else will get the financial benefit of doing it’.

      That, and once the revenue numbers for the schools doing it start rolling in, it will only be a matter of time before everyone has joined in the fun.


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I believe this is just another case of McGarity practicing the, “That’s just what I was going to suggest,” school of leadership. His superiors want things done a certain way and his job is to try to convince the world to follow along.


  3. Go Dawgs!

    The Georgia Way has two components, and one of those components is bringing in and stockpiling money. Just ask anyone who has tailgated for decades on the Reed Hall quad and is now being asked to move elsewhere in favor of the University’s presumably lucrative partnership with a private tailgating company (you’re on notice, North Campus tailgaters, enjoy it while it lasts). I find it hard to believe that Georgia would be the school holding this up. I’m sure the UGA PD would love to block it, but I think the decision makers above their heads would jump at the chance to make money off of booze in the stadium. Besides, I’ve seen research that suggests selling in the stadium could reduce the number of alcohol-related issues on game days, probably due to the fact that fewer revelers feel the need to get uber-drunk before the game. Also, if you’re smuggling booze into a game it’s much easier to smuggle in hard liquor than it is beer.



    So are they saying no one drinks inside an SEC Stadium? Talk about folks with their head in the sand.


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      They’re not that stupid. They just want the moral high ground of trying to prevent the plebes from getting themselves into trouble.


  5. HiAltDawg

    Based on others’ observations of concessions in Sanford, it makes me wonder if UGA can functionally and physically even handle the transaction of legally selling a paying customer an alcoholic beverage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Napoleon BonerFart

      You certainly couldn’t have the Boy Scout troops manning the bar. Ironically, a concession stand selling alcohol and staffed by adults who understand the details of concessions would be the smoothest run stand in the stadium. If I could get a beer in 10 minutes versus a Coke in 30, well that’s an offer I can’t refuse.


  6. I’ve always been in favor of selling alcohol at games, but the Rose Bowl may have changed my mind. I was in a section with a healthy mix of Georgia and Oklahoma fans. Especially in the second half, beers were flying after touchdowns and there were multiple fights. I didn’t notice the same problems at the National Championship, so maybe this was isolated, but it definitely made me a little more skeptical.


  7. St. Johns Dawg

    Perhaps there are a few considerations in Sanford Stadium for UGA brass:

    1) Main concession stands are often staffed by churches, youth league parents/kids, band parents, kids, etc. which these entities use as partial fundraisers. UGA likes this arrangement the concession vendors currently have. Would make it difficult (but not impossible) to serve beer at those stands unless the staffing were monitored changed. Could serve beer only at separate kiosks with fast ID checks in place, maybe.

    2) Upping security presence and medical presence due to expected alcohol related incidents (especially in the early, hot-as-hell part of the season).

    3) Political/Economic – Which liquor baron gets the contract to sell the booze … and what kind of ramifications does that contract mean (if any)?

    Wondering how much booze is currently allowed in the suites and skyboxes area now … Probably no limit.


    • What if UGA implemented some type of concessions ticket / voucher system with stands selling color coded tickets in numerous spots around campus on game day. That way, inside the stadium you would only need to throw out your yellow popcorn ticket and your red coke ticket at the counter and be gone. Even offer it online and in season ticket mailings, etc.

      I would normally say that throws a kink in impulse purchases, but I think the lines and congestion kill that anyway.


      • I like the idea, but you would have to make it tamperproof and difficult to forge.


      • I would think something like that could easily be added on to your admission ticket via the UGA site or an app, before or during the game. Then you just scan your ticket at the counter? For that matter, just let me buy it on the app anyway and scan the app’s barcode at the register via an express line.


    • ApalachDawg

      The baptists can be responsible for the cokes and sprites.
      The Catholics and Knights of Columbus from St Joe’s will handle the spirits. We will even let our half brothers – whiskeypalians – help out in the booth next to us.


  8. JasonC

    Geez, I can’t believe those greedy SOBs would leave money on the table. Maybe if they have to pay players they’ll consider Bud to help cover the tab.


  9. Texas Dawg

    Until they fix the bathroom situation at the stadium, selling beer at the game would be a really bad idea. But then again if the lines for beer are as long as the other concessions, no one would have the time to buy more than 1 and still watch any of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Erk's Forehead

    While I agree with you on most of your posts, I have to say I do not look forward to the inevitable sale of alcohol inside Sanford. And before anyone says that the alcohol is already there…..I say, yes it is. In hidden flasks. I don’t have to pass you your beer. You’re responsible for sneaking it in. And I don’t have a drunk moron behind me spilling it on me or my family like I do at Falcons games. Feel free to imbibe outside the stadium or sneak it into the stadium. I hope it’s never sold inside. fwiw.


  11. CB

    Two things: I snuck liquor past secret service and the TSA at the CFPNC game so this rule doesn’t apply to me. Anyhow, I always try to get blackout drunk just before I go into the game anyway… You know… Just in case.