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NCAA Alcohol-Ad Ban Pushed

It is March Madness time (college-basketball playoffs), and a group of legislators are renewing their call for the NCAA to ban alcohol advertising on college sports on TV and radio.

Rep. Tom Osborne (R-Neb.) and a handful of others have introduced a "sense of the House" resolution urging the athletic conference to ban the ads. They introduced a similar resolution last year. It has been referred to committee, where it languished last session. But even if it passes, it has not authority beyond the bully pulpit.

The resolution cites numerous statistics on college students and alcohol use, and point out that the NCAA bylaws specifically state that "advertising policies of the association are designed to exclude those advertisements that do not appear to be in the best interest of higher education."

Osborne and his colleagues argue that establishing and glamorizing the connection between sports and alochol is not in the best interests of higher education, and thus want the NCAA to "end all alcohol advertising during radio and television broadcasts of collegiate sporting events."

Co-sponsoring the resolution were Frank Wolf (R-Va.), a long-time foe of TV alcohol ads; Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Cali.f), ED Case (D-Hawaii) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.).

An NCAA spokesman had not returned comment at press time.