When the Texas Longhorns decided to sell beer and wine at sporting events in the spring of 2014, including at baseball games and one men's basketball game, the expectation was that fans would be able to buy beer and wine at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium this fall as long as things went well
However, Texas chancellor Francisco Cigarroa told the Austin American-Statesman on Thursday that the beer and wine sales won't be happening this year:
(UT President) Bill Powers and I agreed that we really needed more of an experience of selling beer and wine at our basketball games, baseball and track and field.
If Powers and Cigarroa did indeed agree not to shelve the tentative plans for beer and wine sales at football games, it would be somewhat surprising given that the two are currently at odds after the outgoing chancellor recently asked the popular but oft-embattled president to resign.
After holding the position for five years, Cigarroa announced his plans to resign back in February and has been critical of Powers in the past for a lack of trust and communication with the Board of Regents, even though the Regents have been loaded with supporters of Texas governor Rick Perry. Powers has opposed the plans of Perry and his cronies to turn Texas into a diploma mill.
In other words, Cigarroa hasn't been afraid of making unpopular decisions recently, so nixing the opportunity for fans to buy a cold beverage at the game is just another in the line.
If sales go well during the upcoming calendar year, the future chancellor, whatever president is in place, and athletics director Steve Patterson will likely sit down to revisit the idea, one that Patterson has supported since his arrival.
At West Virginia, recently instituted beer sales at football games were in response to binge drinking at tailgates and especially at halftime, when fans would rush out of the stadium in order to consume a few drinks before returning to the game.
The Mountaineers stop sales midway through the third quarter and the result was fewer police calls, arrests, and charges.
More than the fact that the decision is another unpopular one from Cigarroa, it's disappointing that he wasn't willing to use examples like that of West Virginia to reduce his concerns, along with the lack of incidents at other sporting events, to give beer and wine sales a trial run this fall.
A word to Texas fans though -- if you want to consume beer and wine at DKR in 2015, doing so responsibly at other sporting events is the first step in that direction.