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Idaho, Boise State get the go-ahead

BOISE, Idaho -- Some fans at home football games for Boise
State University and the University of Idaho will be able to buy
beer or wine in controlled areas this fall, the State Board of
Education decided Thursday.

The first such sales could begin at the Sept. 4 Boise
State-Idaho opener in Boise.

Meeting at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, the
board voted to approve a waiver to the policy that was adopted two
months ago saying alcohol would not be allowed at student athletic
events.

The vote has prompted concern over sending a mixed message about alcohol to
the state schools in light of alcohol-related problems experienced
on campuses across the country.

Laird Stone, board member from Twin Falls, said banning alcohol
from those kind of events did not make sense and he said it would
be similar to prohibition, which did not work.

Idaho has served beer on campus before football games in
previous years with a waiver. Boise State has never had alcohol at
those events, although the board did grant a waiver that it be
allowed in a complex of tents during the Humanitarian Bowl.

Bronco Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier said earlier that the
sales would only be allowed in a secured section north of the
stadium. The tents would be sold to businesses and corporations.
They would not be open to the general public, and those entering
the tents must be invited guests.

Both Bleymaier and Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear said
providing a fun experience for fans is the primary reason for the
new rules, with fund-raising a secondary consideration.

The board decided Thursday that alcohol distributors could not
be corporate sponsors. Sales would not be allowed longer than four
hours before the games start.

Board member Milford Terrell of Boise is also on the directors'
panel for the MPC Computers Bowl, formerly the Humanitarian Bowl.

Terrell said Idaho's universities and colleges are suffering
from poor funding because of the state's soft economy. Controlled
beer and wine sales would be an opportunity for private businesses
to help out those schools.