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Eye On Boise

State Ed Board OKs continued alcohol sales at football games, not basketball

The Idaho State Board of Education says footballs fans may continue to imbibe at campus games, but basketball boosters must remain dry. The Lewiston Tribune ( ) reports that on Wednesday the board approved extending alcohol sales in limited areas at Boise State University and University of Idaho football games for the rest of this year's playing season. However, according to the Tribune and the Associated Press, BSU's request to permit alcohol sales at pregame basketball events failed 5-3. Board member Richard Westerberg said he thinks the board is sending mixed messages. He added that the board should re-evaluate approving any alcohol sales on college campuses once the football season ends. Alcohol sales at football games were first permitted by the board in June. Before, alcohol service was only approved for corporate sponsors and their guests.

During the meeting, several board members said the board should decide if it wants to allow alcohol sales on Idaho university campuses at all, and if so, leave the details up to university presidents rather than micro-managing where and when. "We have presidents for that reason," said board member Sherri Ybarra, the state schools superintendent. "I trust their decision." 

Westerberg, however, said, “I guess I’m not sure what service we’re providing by adding alcohol at these facilities.”  

Board member Debbie Critchfield called for “some kind of a review of the policy, because we are consistently waiving it in some form or another.” Board member David Hill said a review is in order, but favored allowing current practices to continue through the football season so they can be evaluated. “I suspect what you’re going to do is move some people from off-campus drinking into a controlled environment,” he said.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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