A state representative responded in a letter Tuesday to criticism over his proposed bill to ban public universities from licensing “official” alcoholic beverages.
In the letter, Rep. Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport, specifically mentioned LSU President F. King Alexander, who told The Advocate last week that House Bill 610 was “nonsense” and that Glover “likes to throw stones.”
Both LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have joined a growing trend of allowing brewers to pay them for making “official beers.” Bayou Bengal Lager supports LSU and Ragin’ Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale is the official beer for UL-Lafayette.
Glover’s bill would ban partnerships between public universities and breweries, as well as forbid LSU and UL-Lafayette from renewing the contracts with local brewers when they expire.
With much fanfare, LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette joined a growing trend o…
In Glover’s letter, he said it was “certainly disappointing to see LSU President Dr. King Alexander respond in such a personal and petty way” to the proposed bill.
Glover also said Alexander’s argument that LSU sees 15 percent in revenue from the sale of its licensed beer should strike “a bitter and ironic chord with his students.”
“LSU and other colleges have been and continue to rake in billions of dollars from the blood, sweat, broken bones, and dreams of youngsters who are not even old enough to legally buy beer,” Glover said in the letter. “The universities’ return is much higher than the tuition, room and board invested through scholarships. Yet these same young people cannot legally earn a single red cent from the tickets, television, tailgating and all the purple and gold paraphernalia that bears their names.”
Glover said that "the start of a fair deal" would be for those who “actually provide the sweat equity” to see a share of all revenue generated by college athletics.
“So if the king of LSU wants his cut of the beer money, let's make sure the kids get theirs, too,” Glover said.
HB610 will be debated first in the House Education Committee, but a hearing has not been scheduled.
Read Glover’s full letter below.
It was certainly disappointing to see LSU President Dr. King Alexander respond in such a personal and petty way regarding House Bill 610, my bill that would prohibit colleges and universities from authorizing an “official” alcoholic beverage.
LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have signed such contracts and local breweries market beers as the official brews of the universities.
Alexander said in a news story about my bill in The Advocate: “It’s nonsense. Glover likes to throw stones. He’s never been a fan of LSU.”
Like just about all Louisianans, I love LSU and all of our other colleges as well.
But HB 610 isn't just about our colleges. It’s about our people and especially our children. Of all the collective negatives we possess as a state, the one we can least afford to continue mindlessly ushering forward is our inclination to overindulge in alcohol.
It affects and magnifies all of the others. From our nation-leading homicide, HIV and hypertension levels to our shameful rates for violence against women, alcohol abuse is a common denominator.
To be clear, there is just about no aspect of my life in which I am a teetotaler. HB 610 is no effort at holier than thou-ism. I just happen to believe we can do and be better than college-branded beer.
In his attempt to justify college-branded and sanctioned beer, Alexander ignores all of the college student specific data regarding underage consumption, binge drinking, alcohol fueled sexual and physical assaults, and instead argues that Budweiser and other major brands have been using purple and gold in their advertising for years without LSU ever receiving any financial benefit. If there was ever a statement from a college president that strikes a bitter and ironic chord with his students, then this should be it.
LSU and other colleges have been and continue to rake in billions of dollars from the blood, sweat, broken bones, and dreams of youngsters who are not even old enough to legally buy beer. The universities’ return is much higher than the tuition, room and board invested through scholarships. Yet these same young people cannot legally earn a single red cent from the tickets, television, tailgating and all the purple and gold paraphernalia that bears their names.
If logic leads Dr. Alexander to believe that LSU is currently being exploited and taken advantage of by the beer companies, then he should be honest enough to admit that colleges are doing the same thing to the underage youngsters who give their brands such high value and exposure in the first place, and then fight to justly compensate them in the same way he wants to cash in now.
A fifteen percent share of all the revenue generated from college sports that’s split amongst those who actually provide the sweat equity that makes it all possible sounds like the start of a fair deal. So if the king of LSU wants his cut of the beer money, let's make sure the kids get theirs, too.
Rep. Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport
Louisiana House of Representatives District 4