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Ole Miss Athletics Changes Baseball Alcohol Policy

With the 2015 Ole Miss baseball season underway, Ole Miss Athletics has announced some big changes to the policies regarding alcohol consumption with the famed right field seating area.

The area, mostly occupied by Ole Miss students during games, is famous for intense crowds and showers of beers when Ole Miss hits a home run.

In a release sent out to University of Mississippi students, the athletics department plotted out what changes were going to me made.

“In accordance with the law, consumption of beer and light wine beverages is limited to patrons 21 years old and up,” the release said. “Students who are violating university policies including alcohol and drugs policies (possession, public drunkenness, distribution, etc.) will be issued a citation from UPD and a possible fine.”

The most notable changes to the area include wristbands for students over the legal drinking age, 21, to better help law enforcement ensure legal alcohol consumption by the Ole Miss students. Also, the university is putting a limit on cooler size to 20-quart coolers to limit the amount of alcohol brought into Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

“I don’t understand where the change is coming from,” Junior Accounting major Peyton Parks said. “They’re going to lose support if they regulate it too much, and could ruin the environment.”

Ole Miss sports marketing staffer Thomas House cleared up some of the questions regarding the new policy.

“A change had to be made in regards to the drinking age,” House said. “The drinking age has always been 21, and the time came where Ole Miss had to regulate it a little more.”

The crowd is known for getting a little out of hand at times, and that was no different last season. When Ole Miss hosted and won the Oxford NCAA Regional the outfield seating area became a massive field party. Some of the student-athletes made their way out there to celebrate with the fans and it had potential to create some issues.

Incidents of over intoxication occurred during that regional including security personal having to tackle one fan. That fan was taken away by ambulance.

Issues like that are what prompted the changes to the alcohol policy according to Director of Athletics Ross Bjork, who answered student’s questions via Twitter on opening weekend.

“We shouldn’t have problems escalate to people drinking too much or our security staff tackling anyone,” Bjork said via his Twitter account.

Some students were worried about the changes, but most university did not have much of a choice in the matter. Junior business major Jake Parsons, who is over 21, said he doesn’t mind the change.

“I can see why underage students are frustrated because I’ve been there, but I’m over the drinking age now so it doesn’t bother me,” Parsons said.

With the new policy, students are required to scan their Ole Miss student ID card at station upon entrance to Oxford-University Stadium. After scanning their ID they’ll receive a wristband proving they are the appropriate drinking age. Along with the alcohol limits, the university is also limiting furniture to only tailgating furniture such as tents, folding chairs, small tables etc, in the right field area.

Other areas of the stadium will not be affected by the policy changes this season. The same rules as years past will be enforced for the main grandstand and left field area.

 

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