Some students said they waited up to two hours to get inside, and many complained of a crush of people trying to get into the stadium just before UA’s game against the University of Hawaii. Some students reported that at least one student fainted.
I was there, and I can report that: 1) it took about an hour to get in; 2) there was in fact a crush of people pushing forward, because that was the only way to progress, and; 3) a student right in front of me did in fact faint (and throw up; luckily for us she was on a “liquid diet”, shall we say).
The school is so obsessed with keeping the students in their place that this situation was bound to happen. When I was an undergraduate, the process was simple; you walked to the gate, you showed your ID, then they took your ticket. The process was somewhat more complicated this time.
First, you wait in line for an hour. Then you finally get to the gate, where a cop looks at your ID and rummages through your personal belongings in case you are bringing in the dreaded alcohol. Then a second person scans your student ID on one of those magnetic readers. And then a third person actually takes your ticket. It’s remarkably inefficient.
The associate athletic director says that students should show up earlier. Earlier than two hours before game time?
UPDATE: Reading the story in the student newspaper, I can also verify that associate athletic director John Gilbert is an ass. He says that the problem was students showing up “fifteen minutes before game time”. I was there an hour and fifteen minutes before game time and spent most of that time in line. According to Gilbert, students should show up 45 minutes before game time and there would be no problem — assuming, I guess, that you don’t mind missing the first quarter.
The other problem, which both the Tuscaloosa and student papers apparently won’t say out loud, is that fraternities are allowed, for some ungodly reason, to reserve blocks of seats by sending a few freshmen to hold them when the gates open, then expect to stroll in whenever they feel like it.