Big Al is watching you: Alabama tracking students at stadium, penalizing them if they leave football games early

Andrew Joseph
For The Win

In recent years, Alabama football coach Nick Saban has complained about student attendance at games. Notably, he hasn't particularly liked that students either leave early or don't show up for non-conference cupcake games against teams like The Citadel and New Mexico State.

Well, Alabama now has a plan to keep students inside Bryant-Denny Stadium for all four quarters, and … it's just a bit creepy.

According to a report from The New York Times, Alabama had its students install a version of the app FanMaker, which tracks their locations while inside the stadium. If they leave the game early, the app knows and won't award them loyalty points needed for perks like College Football Playoff tickets.

Via The Times:

"The Tide Loyalty Points program works like this: Students, who typically pay about $10 for home tickets, download the app and earn 100 points for attending a home game and an additional 250 for staying until the fourth quarter ... The school has also faced privacy questions about the technology — especially with Alabama being a public university — tracking locations, but athletic director Greg Byrne said that students aren't tracked while outside the stadium."

But really, this new technology seems relatively easy to work around. Give it a couple of weeks until fraternity and sorority pledges are stuck holding dozens of phones for active members. That's going to happen — just watch.

Of course, Saban could also do his part to improve student attendance by maybe scheduling some marquee non-conference games at home.