Bama tracking students to check 4-quarter stays

The University of Alabama is offering an incentive for students to stay inside Bryant-Denny Stadium for the entire game by utilizing location tracking through a new phone application.

The app monitors when students enter the stadium for Crimson Tide games — and when they leave.

Students receive 100 Tide Loyalty Points for attending a home football game and 250 points per game for staying all four quarters. Those points can then be used toward priority access to student football tickets.

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne told the New York Times that privacy concerns have rarely been brought to his attention regarding the Tide Loyalty Points application’s utilization of tracking services. Besides, he said, students can either close the app or delete it altogether to avoid being tracked.

“If anybody has a phone, unless you’re in airplane mode or have it off, the cellular companies know where you are,” Byrne told the paper.

After earlier chiding students for leaving the stadium too early during last Saturday’s home game against New Mexico State, Alabama coach Nick Saban later changed his tune.

During his weekly radio call-in show Thursday, Saban once again thanked fans for braving the 90-plus-degree heat last Saturday.

“If I asked that whole student section, ‘Do you want to be No. 1?’ Nobody would hold their hand up and say ‘I want to be No. 4.’ They would all say No. 1,” Saban said Saturday in his postgame remarks. “But are they willing to do everything to be No. 1? That’s another question.”

On Thursday night, Saban acknowledged the difficulty in dealing with such high temperatures.

“I want the stadium to be full,” Saban said. “I want everybody to stay. I want everybody to be there. But I also know that it’s not very comfortable when we play in certain circumstances. From a player’s standpoint, I don’t want to hear any of that. Whenever we play, we play.”

Alabama, which goes on the road to play South Carolina on Saturday, will once again deal with a hot game day on Sept. 21 when it hosts Southern Mississippi at 11 a.m. CT.

Upset with yet another day game, Byrne and university president Stuart Bell released a joint statement earlier this week expressing their displeasure.

“We are disappointed that our game against Southern Miss has been selected as a daytime kickoff at home,” the statement said. “We realize we’ve played more non-conference day games at home in September than any other SEC team since 2014. There have been a number of conversations with our conference office, and they also recognize the challenges these kick times present for our student-athletes and fans.”

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