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Paul Newman fights binge drinking

Paul Newman is fighting a bizarre college binge-drinking custom that somehow became attached to his name.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Paul Newman has appealed to Princeton University to end a campus tradition in which participants binge drink, trying to consume a beer an hour for 24 hours.

Newman’s Day, set for Saturday the 24th, derives its name from an apocryphal quote attributed to the actor: “24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day. Coincidence? I think not.”

On Newman’s Day, students have been known to show up for class inebriated or with beer poured into coffee mugs. Part of the event’s challenge is to make it through classes.

The actor’s lawyer, Leo Nevas, sent the university a letter last week calling for the tradition to stop.

“Mr. Newman is disturbed by the use of his name in conjunction with this alcohol-related event, and he would like to bring an end to this tradition,” the university’s newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, quoted the letter in a story last Friday.

The university responded, explaining it does not sanction the event.

Since it falls on a Saturday this year, there was concern some students also would observe it Thursday, the week’s last day of class for most students.

“The fear is that some will do it on both days. That’s dangerous,” J.W. Victor, a junior and president of the Interclub Council, told The New York Times.

The association with Newman’s name apparently is especially troubling for the actor. His son, Scott Newman, died of a drug overdose in 1978 at 28. Newman founded a center in his son’s name to help prevent substance abuse.