Saturday, September 14, 2019

Uh oh: University of Alabama goes Big Brother on the Student Section at Bryant-Denny

The University is harnessing technology to solve the ancient problem of the deserted student section at Bryant-Denny, and it's gaining some national media attention.

The tailgate version: Students can download an app to their smart phone. They earn loyalty points for attending home games, and pick up a few extra points by staying until the fourth quarter.

This is a tough choice when Bama routinely smashes non-conference (and quite a few conference) opponents at home. It's September. It's hot. There are post-game parties at fraternity and sorority houses and the game outcome is not in doubt. "Let's go, man."

The team looks up in the stands and their fellow students have something better to do than watch their own fellow students work their asses off.

To be honest, this is not a new problem. Coach Bryant complained about it. So did Perkins, Curry, Stallings, Dubose and Franchione (it's questionable if Shula complained about anything). It's not limited to Alabama, either. At least people show up for Alabama football. Anyone see Vol fans at Tennessee's Neyland Stadium last week? MIA, y'all.

But Nick Saban is not happy about it:

"I think it enhances the value of our program if our stadium is full and people stay for 60 minutes in the game, aight," Saban told 247Sports. "So, from my standpoint, I always want to see the stadium full and I want to see people stay for 60 minutes in the game. We expect our players to compete for 60 minutes in the game. I'm not satisfied with the way some of our players competed in the fourth quarter, the second-team guys and all that. I mean, I'd like to see them get supported just like some of the people that are fun to watch, alright.
"So, I would love for the students to be there for the whole game, and I know we've tried to enhance with some of the things that we're doing to try to get them to do that. But that's a choice and decision they've got to make. But all these things affect the program, aight, because people come and we have recruits and here, and they want to see a full house and all that."
This won't mean much today because Alabama is visiting Columbia for a date with the South Carolina Gamecocks (see TideFans' preview here).

My idea has been floated many times--Put this message on the app: "Got Tickets? Use'em or lose'em." It never gains traction. There are hordes of Alabama fans who would love to use those tickets.


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