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BYU to sell caffeine sodas at sporting events, on campus

BYU is finally going to sell caffeine on campus. What does it mean for BYU Athletics?

Wisconsin v BYU
You thought the ROC was rowdy before? Wait until they get a little (or a lot of) caffeine in them.
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

As inspirational author Robert Collier once wrote, “Supply always comes on the heels of demand.” And finally, the supply has arrived on the campus of Brigham Young University.

With a simple picture of a classic red coke can and the words “It’s happening.”, the official BYU twitter account sent students, alumni, and fans into a frenzy this morning when the realization hit: Caffeinated sodas are available to purchase on campus starting today.

Let’s not downplay this. This announcement is BIG. It is monumental. It is historic. It’s been impossible to find a soda with caffeine for sale at BYU since the 1950s (except for that one time when a machine on campus was accidentally stocked with Coke Zero and students had a heyday). According to the release from BYU Dining Services, the decision not to sell caffeinated sodas on campus was made by the director of BYU Food Services at the time, and it has stood all these years because Dining Services “rarely received requests for caffeinated soda.”

Almost exactly five years ago, the LDS Church released a Mormon Newsroom article that clarified that “the Church revelation spelling out health practices does not mention the use of caffeine.” This almost immediately put the spotlight on BYU, which prompted spokeswoman Carri Jenkins to infamously state that the only reason it does not sell caffeinated coke is that there has not “been a demand.”

The explanation seemed laughable, particularly among the BYU fan base, which has been clamoring for caffeine for years. From petitions on, supportive Facebook pages, and protests on Brigham Square, to vocal requests from students and fans on social media and not-so-subtle endorsements from the likes of head football coach Kalani Sitake, the voice of the Cougars Greg Wrubell, athletic director Tom Holmoe, and maybe even President Uchtdorf, BYU Dining Services finally relented.

Think about what this means for BYU Athletics. A huge influx of concessions money from eager BYU fans who will line up to purchase their Diet Coke or Coke Zero. All those high profile recruits that will commit to BYU now that the stumbling block of obtaining caffeine on campus has been removed. The readily available caffeine sources for coaches and players during those late-night film study sessions. No more taunts and jeers from national media broadcasters when they learn that the only soda available in the press box is rootbeer or sprite.

Think what it means for the BYU ROC! The rowdy, rowdy ROC is about to get even rowdier. Camping out for big games and staying up all night? Piece of cake. Filling up the student section at each home game with promises of free caffeine? No-brainer. You thought they were loud before? Wait until you get a bunch of Mormon kids hyped up on Coke and the hope of a Cougar victory. “Don’t be surprised if the ROC cheer after every made free throw this season is ‘Woosh, caffeine!’” said BYU Roc member Cam Schroath.

Think of what it means for BYU fans. No more melting in the hot sun for a 1:00 PM kickoff in August against an FBS school without an ice cold Diet Coke in that souvenir cup. No more 9:00 PM tipoffs in the Marriott Center without a Coke to keep them awake and cheering against some of those bottom-dwelling WCC teams. No more creatively smuggling in caffeinated beverages to the stadium in cargo shorts (unless it’s Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew, which is unlikely to be offered with BYU’s Coke-exclusive deal).

And while Cougar Nation has had a lot of fun with this news, it is a much-needed step forward. “While we are all laughing, realistically I am excited because I think it’s a step in the right direction for BYU getting rid of some of its antiquated policies that have little or nothing to do with LDS Church standards.” said BYU alumnus Holly Glem. “And I hope the beard policy is next!”

Hey Honor Code office, you’re up.