MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Oliver Luck arrived at Friday's Board of Governors meeting not to tout the positives about the proposed plan to sell alcohol at West Virginia University's sporting events, but to attack the weaknesses.
When he left, the amendment to Policy 18 had passed by a 10-5 vote at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and largely because he was ready to address the criticisms raised by board members.
"I think it's clear Oliver has done his homework and has done a really good job saying what is the best way to do what we can do to change behavior," said outgoing board chairwoman Carolyn Long. "Now we'll begin to work on that. There are bound to be disagreements, just as there was around the board, but I think it's important we had the discussion we had."
In a brief presentation with a handful of slides, Luck went over the idea introduced in April and added detail about how the process will work. The concessionaire will ask every customer for a valid ID and sell no more than two bottles of beer at a time. Luck said WVU will use plastic bottles because it's the "best way to curb beer spillage on patrons and fellow fans."
Luck said many of the people who participated in the public comment period last month were worried about having full cups of beer spill on them.
Beer will only be sold at concession stands and there will be none near the student sections. The sales will be cut off in the third quarter.
The policy change was approved as part of a three-pronged plan to address what Luck called a "coarseness" in the stands and to "increase civility."
WVU ended its re-entry policy and will no longer allow fans to leave the stadium and come back after halftime, except for medical emergencies. WVU will also prohibit smoking in the stadium's common areas and allow it only in designated spots outside the concourse.
The subsequent discussion with the board involved curiosities and opponents and Luck handled them all, with a strong assist from University Police Chief Bob Roberts. Luck asked Roberts, Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston and the University Police's Manager of Investigative Services and retired Morgantown Police Chief Phil Scott to attend.
At different times they handled questions from the board with Roberts doing most of the work.
"That was a very important part of the presentation," said board member William Wilmoth, who along with James Dailey, Diane Lewis, Ed Robinson and student representative Chris Lewallen, voted against the amendment.
Luck was asked by one board member if WVU could simply end the re-entry practice and not approve the beer sales and still improve behavior. From the beginning of this process, Luck used his conversations with law enforcement and peer institutions to determine that fans leaving the game in the second quarter and returning after a quick binge in the parking lots at halftime were contributing to the frowned-upon behavior.