"We need to sever the tie between college sports and drinking. Completely, absolutely, and forever." -- HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, January 12, 1998


On January 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala called on college sports officials to immediately end their business relations with the alcohol industry. In a speech to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Shalala said the move would help curb alcohol abuse on college campuses. Colleges including the University of North Carolina, Baylor, and Brigham Young already decline alcohol sponsorship of their sporting events.

A former university president herself, Secretary Shalala recognizes that the alcohol industry provides much-needed funds for college sports programs. However, she said, it is time for tough advertising guidelines, "especially in light of the recent alcohol-related deaths and some research suggesting that advertising may influence adolescents to be more favorably disposed to drinking." Shalala also called on schools to eliminate alcohol consumption at the site of sporting events, such as tailgate parties.

Please write to Secretary Shalala and thank her for calling on colleges to break the link between sports and drinking. Encourage her to support H.R. 1980 to limit alcohol advertising and sponsorships and strengthen alcohol prevention programs at institutions of higher learning, H. Res. 321 ("The Collegiate Initiative to Reduce Binge Drinking"), and similar measures to reduce campus alcohol problems. (To view a sample letter, to Secretary Shalala, click here.

Write to:

The Honorable Donna E. Shalala
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20201

Also, please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to support Shalala's efforts to eliminate alcohol advertising and sponsorships from college sports. Encourage your House Representative to support H.R. 1980 and H. Res. 321, and urge your Senators to introduce similar bills. To view a sample letter to a Representative, click here or to a Senator, click here .

Please contact the Alcohol Policies Project at 202-332-9110, for further information.

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