Matt Grothe, simply earning some extra money as an intrepid, hardworking college student, picked up an unfortunate citation for serving alcohol to an 18 year old during his shift as a bartender at "The Bull Ring," a Tampa sports bar within puking distance of the USF campus. We had no idea serving 18 year olds any kind of booze was a problem in Tampa, as we've seen toddlers doing shots at Dave's Aqua Lounge out on Gandy before crawling into their Power Wheels and weaving home.
They're not the only ones, either: Tampa has to lead the world in alternate forms of transport on the road used as a direct result of DUIs. The Barbie Power Wheels Jeep is prime real estate, automotively speaking, for the interlock crowd.
Greg Auman, a journalist who displays some fine blogging fundamentals on his St. Pete Times blog, has the full (and we mean full) story of the Grothe arrest. In summary: it's no big deal NCAA-wise since athletes are allowed to work as long as they're properly compensated, and legally it's no biggie since 18 year olds may work as barkeeps in the state of Florida. (Odd, but true.)
What is troubling for enforcement types is the open possibility of illegal benefits channeled through tips. Anyone who's ever worked in a bar might recognize this as a real danger; bartenders consistently underreport their tips due to intentional and unintentional bad accounting. In an all-cash economy with few receipts, the potential for cash flowing into player's hands is endless. Unless they're serving toddlers--those little bastards tip like cash-strapped Baptists, dammit.
One point for USF for a paltry underage serving charge in the Fulmer Cup. Oh, and one for UGA, too, while we're clearing house, because Akeem doesn't want the terrorists to win.