Nick Saban, Alabama get tough with fairweather fans

This should come under the heading of "Problems Most Sports Programs Would Love To Have."

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban publicly rebuked students who have been leaving his team's games early because the Crimson Tide have been winning too easily, and the university doubled down on his criticism by suspending block seating privileges for 20 student organizations.

"My sense of it is, I always say the fans are a part of the team," Saban reportedly said on his radio show. "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."

Though it's hard to understand why Alabama fans would be in a big hurry to get out of the stadium when they have the best college football team on earth, the decision by the university to view early departure from a football game as a disciplinary issue is heavy handed and, well, disrespectful of the student body – even though it will open prime seats for students who may appreciate them more

It's a classic case of the cart pulling the horse. The students are the university and the head football coach should feel it's a privilege to make millions of dollars to coach a select few of them. He might want to keep in mind that most of those students – unlike his players – have to pay to go to Alabama.

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