Katie North

I am a senior at the University of South Florida. I am pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. I love all sports but my two favorites are football and basketball.
Katie North has written 4 posts for The Digital Bullpen

4lokos…Crazy or Dangerous?

Tampa—The latest trend on most U.S. college campuses, including the University of South Florida, is a drink called “4loko,” one of the most dangerous alcoholic energy drinks on the market.

The alcoholic energy drink (AED) has become a nationwide trend due to the mix of 12% alcohol and the energy ingredients: caffeine, taurine and guarana. The combination of these four ingredients in any AED has been found to be extremely dangerous.

Photo Credits: Katie North

The price of the drink and the effects of the drink are the reason college students are being drawn to this AED. The average price of a 4loko is $3 a can. Students today can feel the effects of the alcohol and the energy drink, which allows them to party all night long, without them, knowing what is going on with their bodies.

According to the physicians group of the University of South Florida Health Services, “Studies have shown that the caffeine in the beverage masks the effects of the alcohol at first, which forces consumers to drink a lot more than they normally would.”

Three students at Ohio State University created the 4loko drink in 2005 after they noticed a trend in students mixing energy drinks and alcohol.

Jenny Allen, a senior at USF, said, “It just gets you so buzzed and it only costs $3. Every time I drink them I end up blacking out and not remembering my night.”

According to Jennifer Fuller, Coordinator of Alcohol & Other Drugs Awareness & Prevention Initiatives at USF, “In 2010, 61.3 percent of USF students have never partaken in High-Risk drinking four or more drinks in a day. 22.8 percent said they have participated in high-risk drinking just once, 8.5 percent drank in a high-risk manner twice, and 7.3 percent drank in a high-risk fashion more than three times.”

CNN reported in November of 2009, “Twenty-five incidents of alcohol poisoning involving these 4loko beverages.”

Students all over the country are on a budget, and a lot of them like to have a good time. 4loko is providing a great time for a great price, but these students do not know the dangers.

According to USA Today, “One 4loko is said to contain as much alcohol as 5-6 beers and as much caffeine as up to five cups of coffee.” The drink is referred to as “blackout in a can.”

Physicians said, “It gives the consumer a delayed drunk feeling, because it combines such large amounts of caffeine and alcohol.”

Senior Jo Borris, said, I drank a 4loko because my room mate suggested it at a party. I drank one can, it was disgusting and I have never had one again.”

Because of this deadly mixture students are drinking more than they know, and once the stimulant feeling of the caffeine wears off, the effects of all the alcohol consumed are felt very suddenly.

The last drive of spring

Photo credit: USF

Today starts the last week of spring practice for USF’s football team. The month of practice has been an eye-opener, according to both coaches and players. Spring practice is expected to end with a bang on Saturday, with the Green and Gold Bowl.

The Bulls had a light practice Monday in only pads and shorts, allowing them to recover from their spring game held at Raymond James Stadium last Saturday, April 2. This week the Bulls will be preparing for their last scrimmage until camp.

Coaches will hit the road for recruiting and players will hit the weight room, while spring practice is over with. They will be preparing for the 2011 season off the field, until camp starts in August.

The Bulls last scrimmage will be part of USF Day on Saturday, April 9. The Bulls Green and Gold Bowl will be one of five athletic events held for USF Day. This event will consist of: two softball games against Georgetown, the women soccer spring game, the Green and Gold Bowl, as well as a baseball game against Rutgers.

Both players and coaches are excited about Saturday’s scrimmage and cannot wait to see how the spring season will wrap up, as we get closer to kickoff against Notre Dame on September 3, 2011.

New facilities are raising the limits

Photo credit: My Bulls Club

The University of South Florida’s Athletic Department opened the brand new football facilities and had its first day of spring practice March 7. The new practice facilities are getting the players excited about the upcoming season.

“The new practice fields are great,” said Evan Landi, junior wide receiver. “I have always been proud to be a Bull, but now we really have top of the line facilities, and these facilities really have the guys pumped about getting ready for the 2011 season.”

The three new fields at the Morsani Practice Facility consist of two natural grass practice fields and one turf field, allowing the Bulls to practice on both surfaces they will face this upcoming season.

Photo credit:

The new football practice facilities will also help with incoming recruiting classes. The Morsani Practice Facility will be a great way to help coaches sell the USF football program.

USF’s pro day has arrived

March 25, 2011 might have been just be another day for everyone at the University of South Florida, but for 15 USF football players, pro day has arrived. Senior football players will showcase their talents to National Football League (NFL) scouts and coaches.

Pro day is for those who didn’t get an opportunity to participate in the combine. It allows them to shine in front of people that work in the NFL. Many USF seniors left the spring semester in order to train for their pro day.

Senior Dontavia Bogan left for Miami in January to train for his pro day.

“Miami was a great place for me to train, it allowed for the climate to be similar to the one that is here in Tampa, and I felt really at home with my trainer down there,” Bogan said. “I am ready for today.”

Photo credit: USF

Drills included in the USF pro day were the 40 yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three cone drill, 20 yard and 60 yard shuttle. All of these drills are also performed at the NFL combine.

These seniors are hoping the skills they show off today will give them the opportunity to workout privately with NFL teams all across the country. It has been three months since the Bull’s football season has ended, and all 15 of these young men have been working and practicing for this day. For them, today determines their destiny.

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