Athletic director supports booze ban at OU football games

Tuesday, September 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ The University of Oklahoma athletic department had no authority to allow the sale of alcohol to special ticket holders during its first home football game, said Athletics Director Joe Castiglione.

On Monday, Castiglione issued a statement he said is intended to be his final word on the ban of alcoholic beverage sales in the new Kerr-McGee Stadium Club.

The club, part of the stadium's new expansion, served alcohol during the Sooners' season opener against the University of North Texas on Aug. 30.

But on the day before OU's next home game two weeks later, donors received e-mails stating alcohol sales were a one-time event.

Castiglione's statement, which has been mailed to 2,137 ticket holders for the club on the new east-side upper deck, said the policy would not change.

``The facts are clear. The athletics department administration had no authority to change the practice of several decades that no alcoholic beverages would be sold on game days,'' Castiglione said. ``Only the OU Board of Regents acting on a recommendation of the President has the legal authority to make such a decision.''

Castiglione said the athletics department never made a request to the President or the Board of Regents for a change.

OU President David Boren said last week he was surprised to see alcohol was served. Boren said he would not support alcohol sales at games while he was president.

The policy change angered some ticket holders, who donated a minimum of $1,000 for club privileges and paid about $700 for a season ticket.

Some donors said have discussed suing the university if the ban wasn't lifted.

Last week donors received a letter saying they could call the athletic department to discuss the return and refund of the club seat tickets.

Castiglione said the athletic department didn't want to mislead prospective ticket buyers to believe alcoholic beverages would be available.

``We certainly had no deliberate intention to mislead anyone,'' he said. ``As I have previously said, as athletics director, I bear responsibility for the mistake and apologize for the confusion that has resulted.''