Even when the Alabama Crimson Tide is blowing out its opponent students are expected to sit and watch. That is the message that was delivered by the university on Friday after it suspended the block seating privileges of 20 student organisations.
The move came after Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban criticized students who have left early in blowout wins.
“My sense of it is, I always say the fans are a part of the team,” Saban said, according to the Anniston Star. “Everybody else should have the same sort of commitment. You don’t have to do the work all week, you don’t have to practice, you don’t have to come in at 7 in the morning and leave at 11 at night, you don’t have to do any of that stuff.
“All you have to do is come to the game, drink beer, do whatever you want, party in the parking lot. I’ve never been at a tailgate in my life. All I’m asking is that you just come and have fun and stay for the whole game.”
The block seating usually reserved for fraternities and other groups will be dissolved for Saturday’s game against Tennessee, and any student will be allowed to sit anywhere in the student section.
While some could see the decision by Alabama as an overstep the university handbook lists guidelines for block seating and notes that “excessive tardiness or early departure from the stadium” as “unacceptable behavior.”
Additional violations could cost organizations their block seating for the rest of the season and altogether for a third ban.
Alabama is a 28 point favorite for Saturday’s game against SEC opponent Tennessee.