The tragedy that recently unfolded at the Nevada - UNLV game has brought the perils of selling alcohol at college games to light. The students who lost their lives or were injured in the incident are testaments to the dangers of selling alcohol at sporting venues in general…
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I acknowledge that beer and chips are a traditional part of any spectator sport activity, which is why our university has been quite lenient over the years regarding the entry of alcohol into the stadiums and sports arenas. As a student body, we know the risks involved in binge drinking and we acknowledge that the university authorities constantly remind us that we must know how to place the alcohol “in the belly and not in the brain”. But there will always be students who overstep the bounds and get drunk either before, during, or after the game. It is important that you understand that the recent violent actions of some students have nothing to do with the sale of alcohol at the college sporting events. The sale of alcohol is a necessary evil when it comes to keeping a college or university sports program alive. While the budget during the year for the sport is set aside by the board of trustees of the school, that does not mean that the amount set aside will be sufficient enough to cover all of the necessary expenses that the team will incur during the year. The coaches already admitted that the revenue from alcohol sales helps to keep the team in active play. The alcohol sales help to augment the shortage in the budget. While it is true that there is a tendency among the students to abuse alcohol at the sporting venues, that is not to say that all of those who drink excessively will be prone to acts of violence. The same goes for tailgating parties that occur prior to the events. Alcohol is one of the main drinks served at such parties which occur prior to the game. In this situation, the alcohol serves as a bonding instrument for the students, who come together pre-game in order to celebrate and prime themselves for the game ahead. Although alcohol is abundant at tailgating parties, there has never been any conclusive evidence to prove that the alcohol consumed by the spectators pre-game has anything to do with their mindset and actions once they enter the stadium. Spectator violence is something that usually happens in Europe but only began to emerge in the United States. Not all of the spectator violence is alcohol related. There are other ways and means that opposing teams can get on each other's nerves or egg each other on. Acts as simple as taunting, teasing, gesturing, destruction of public property, and physical challenges can all lead to spectator violence. But that does not necessarily mean that alcohol is to blame for the actions of the students. There are other reasons, such as being high on illegal drugs, that contribute to the problem of spectator violence. To automatically assume that excessive alcohol intake by the students is the primary cause of violence means that you are barking up the wrong tree. Remember that there is a high police profile at these stadiums during these events due to security concerns. These law enforcers are the first line of defense when it comes to silencing a drunk spectator. Granted that the police cannot guard every student that enters the venue. But the guards at the gate can definitely tell who is entering intoxicated. In which case, a Breathalyzer test can automatically be administered in order to prevent the outbreak of misunderstanding and violence at the venue. The drinking starts long before the students enter the venue. Therefore, the students who try to enter the venue drunk can and should be denied entry until the sober up. Keep in mind that restricting alcoholic intake at the sports venue just means that the students will get their alcohol fix before, during, and after the game in another manner. A manner that will most likely cause spectator violen
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