Thursday, March 25, U.S. Representative Tom Osborne (R-NE), joined by Reps.
Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), introduced House Resolution 575 (PDF)
in the House of Representatives, calling upon the National Collegiate
Athletic Association (NCAA) to end all alcohol advertising during radio and
television broadcasts of college sporting events.
Representative Osborne's Press Release (PDF)
CSPI's Press Release
On March 29, 2004, Representative Osborne
addressed the House to encourage support for the resolution.
What H.Res. 575 Does
H.Res. 575 urges the NCAA to voluntarily eliminate alcohol ads during radio
and television broadcasts of collegiate sports events. That action
would affirm universities' commitment to discourage alcohol use among
underage students and other young fans.
This resolution is not binding legislation, i.e., it would not have the
force of law, if passed. It would express the opinion of the House and
send a strong message to higher education leaders that Congress recognizes
the inappropriateness of beer advertising in college sports.
Why It's Needed
2002, the alcoholic-beverage industry spent $58 million on commercials
during college sports programs; $28 million of that was spent on 939 ads
aired during that year's NCAA basketball tournament. That compares
with the 925 ads aired during the Super Bowl, World Series, college bowl
games, and Monday Night football combined. Alcohol ads appeared twice
as often, on average, during NCAA championship broadcasts than during other
sports programs, and 16 times as often, on average, than during all
television programs. Among the viewers of those alcohol ads were large
concentrations of avid fans who are underage college or high school
College and university presidents know that drinking is the number one
health problem on campuses today. Two out of five college students are
binge drinkers; 1,400 college students die each year from alcohol-related
injuries; more than 70,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual
assault or date rape; and 500,000 students are injured under the influence
of alcohol each year.
Andy Geiger, athletics director at Ohio State University, thinks "it's
inconsistent toÖdiscourage underage drinking and turn around and huckster
the stuff on your [college sports] broadcasts." CSPI polling shows
that a large majority of Americans agree.
[Passage of this resolution would provide a real boost for our Campaign for
Alcohol-Free Sports TV. We are circulating a "College Commitment"
statement asking schools to end alcohol ads during their games.
Already 107 schools, more than 10 percent of the NCAA, have signed on.
For more information on how you can help, please see the Campaign's action
What You Can Do
Call, fax, or e-mail your Member of Congress today and urge him/her to sign
on to H.Res. 575. Here's how to do it:
Call your U.S. Representative's
Washington office. (If you don't have the number, try the phonebook or
call 202-224-3121 and the Capitol Switchboard will connect you.)
Ask to speak with the staff
member who handles alcohol and/or health issues.
Whether you speak with a staffer
or leave a message on his/her voice mail, your message is the same.
Identify yourself as a constituent and ask the Member to contact Rep.
Osborne's office (202-225-6435) to sign on to H.Res. 575.
E-mail or Fax:
Some Members have e-mail addresses, while others prefer that you send your
comments via their web site. Fax numbers are generally made public.
Click here to look up your Representative's contact info.
Sample message: I urge
Representative [Smith] to sign on to House Resolution 575, recently
introduced by Representative Tom Osborne. That resolution seeks a real
reduction in the promotion of alcohol to young people in this country.
Feel free to personalize your message by expressing your own concerns about
beer ads during college sports broadcasts, or adding any relevant
information from your district. For example: Given the problems we have
with underage drinking here in [Atlanta], our kids don't need to see beer ad
after beer ad while watching otherwise great March Madness basketball games.
It sends the wrong message about athletics and healthy lifestyles, and
reinforces the incongruous connection between alcohol and college sports.
Itís that simple. And itís really helpful.
further information, contact Amy Gotwals, Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 332-9110.