Alabama students, you better show up at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Otherwise, you're going to anger the most powerful man on campus. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban ripped students Wednesday for the lack of attendance during Saturday's game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, a game in which Alabama won 56-14.
"I think what makes this a special experience here is when we have great support from everybody in the program, everybody that supports the program, all of our fans, all of our students," Saban said, according to 247Sports. "I can honestly say I was a little disappointed there weren't more students at the last game. I think we're trying to address that. I don't think they're entitled to anything, either. Me personally, I think it ought to be first-come, first-serve. If they don't want to come to the game, they don't have to come. But I'm sure there's enough people around here that would like to go to the games and we'd like for them to come too because they support the players."
Here's what Bryant-Denny Stadium looked like shortly after kickoff of the game that started at 11 a.m. local time.
Here's what it looked like in the second half.
Saban went on to say that this is uncharted territory for him.
"I've never said anything like that before. When I first came here, you used to play that tradition thing up there and everybody was cheering and excited and happy and there was great spirit, aight. Now they don't even cheer."
Except that he has said something like this before. Here's Saban from October 2013 about the same issue, via AL.com.
"I've talked about players playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game," Saban said. "And, in some kind of way, everybody that choses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game. "Maybe if you're not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go."
Saban won't have to worry about the problem this weekend. The top-ranked Crimson Tide travel to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville. Based on the way the Tide has been rolling, Saban and Co. might drive Hogs fans out of their own building relatively quickly.