” … “We donít see how colleges teaming with beer advertisers is in the best interests of students,” said George Hacker, director of the Alcohol Policies Project for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The center is asking 1,200 colleges and universities to sign what it calls The College Commitment, a pledge to eliminate alcohol-related television ads during sports events.

The pledge applies to all levels of college sports, from local games to championship contests like the NCAA basketball tournament and national football bowls.

As of March 9, the groupís Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV had signed up 105 schools, including three in the Big 10 Conference — Ohio State University, Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota.

“Itís inconsistent to say you want to discourage underage drinking and turn around and huckster the stuff on your broadcasts,” said Andy Geiger, athletic director for Ohio State, the first school to join the campaign. “Iím concerned about the message.” …

Schools that have signed on to the no-beer-ads campaign take a different view.

“Thatís just not the image I want to convey,” Rob Fournier, athletic director at Wayne State University in Detroit, said of the ads. “For years, I have brought in people to talk to my athletes about alcohol abuse. It just seems contradictory to me to take money from the beer industry.”

> Gannett: “Beer industry too closely tied to college athletics”

Author: Rob