UI’s ‘Dry’ Tailgating Still Wet

Most in Kibbie Dome parking lots broke new rule, but police don’t see anything. Students blame Mormons. 

Despite a ban on pregame drinking during University of Idaho football games, the UI’s season opener looked a lot like tailgates of old Thursday afternoons, as the Idaho State Board of Education’s ruling didn’t seem to stop many from bringing their Solo cups or their beer.

Blue, yellow and the iconic red Solo cups that populate college parties were in the hands of nearly everyone the Daily News interviewed. Some even offered a sip of the brew.

Police wove in and out of the parking lots where Vandals and Montana State Bobcats set up their tables, chairs and barbecues, but they didn’t seem to see anything wrong.

As of about 30 minutes before game time, Moscow Police Chief Jim Fry said he didn’t see one beer can, and no one had been counseled or received any infractions for possessing alcohol.

Fry said Moscow officers were stopping those whose alcohol was visible, like a beer can or beer bottle. He said a Solo cup isn’t a reason to stop anyone.

“There’s no reason to address any of that, unless they look underage,” Fry said. “We’re here to educate and make sure people have fun – that’s what football is all about.”

Many Vandal faithful said the new rule takes away from the culture that is college football.

“It’s all part of football,” Mario Stanislao, a Bobcat fan said. “It just brings more atmosphere here. It’s part of everything that goes on in football.”

Dave Pulis, of Coeur d’Alene, said he blames the strong Mormon presence on the Idaho State Board of Education.

“Mormons have lots of seats in the Legislature,” Pulis said. “That’s why there’s this rule.”

Even Chief Fry said the new rule hurts football culture.

“If you look at tailgating, it does take away,” Fry said. “But that’s not my call.”