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Nick Saban criticizes ‘Bama fans for leaving early, should Calipari do the same?

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Three days ago, The Anniston Star, a newspaper in Eastern Alabama, reported Alabama head football coach Nick Saban’s displeasure with ‘Bama football fans for leaving games early during Crimson Tide blowout victories at home.


“We have a lot of recruits there. We like to see a full stadium,” Saban said. “We have a beautiful stadium and a very nice place, one of the nicest venues in all of college football. I think we should all show our appreciation for it by staying there and showing our appreciation to the team for the whole game.”


As of today, it seems the university’s administration agree with him.


According to, the University of Alabama suspended block seating privileges of twenty student organizations in the wake of Coach Saban’s critical comments. Student block seating in the 101,821-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium is traditionally reserved for the school’s fraternities and sororities, though as of today’s home game versus Tennessee, the seats will now be open to all students. According to The Birmingham News, the university considers excessive tardiness or early departure from the stadium “unacceptable behavior” when concerning block seating. If an offense is committed a second time, the organization may be suspended for the rest of the season, and banned altogether if a violation happens a third time.


In the state of Alabama, when Nick Saban speaks, people listen. Here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, John Calipari’s words have a similar effect. ‘Cats fans are quick to compare the Saban era of Alabama football to the Calipari era of Kentucky basketball, and in this instance, the resemblance couldn’t be clearer. While Rupp Arena’s eRUPPtion Zone and reserved seating student sections may stay loud and loyal for the entire 40 minutes, the same cannot always be said for Kentucky basketball’s real source of income, the boosters and older crowd in the arena’s lower level. 23,500 fans pack the house for every single home game– though the same number is not consistently left when the game is over.


Fans are quick to point out the fact that Lexington is one of the worst cities for traffic on a day-to-day basis, let alone during game days. By leaving early when the game is already out of reach, the drive home is much more manageable. Others will argue that as a fan, convenience is a necessary sacrifice to cheer on the beloved Wildcats. As Saban puts it, “…fans are a part of the team. Everybody else should have the same sort of commitment.”


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The ethics of early fan departure are still up in the air when concerning Kentucky basketball, as (to the best of my knowledge) the University of Kentucky has no policy regulating such activity. When mid-majors UNC-Asheville, Northern Kentucky, UT Arlington, Cleveland State, and Eastern Michigan visit Rupp Arena this November, or even when SEC bottom-dweller Mississippi State rolls into town in January, how many fans will still be in attendance in the game’s final two minutes? Moreover, does it really hurt recruiting if they are not? With this group of ‘Cats, 2013-14 is very likely to see its share of 20-30-point blowouts. Should the Big Blue Nation remain standing strong in attendance until the contest’s final buzzer, or is it acceptable to leave when the game is all but decided?


Whatever the answer, you can guarantee that if John Calipari ever decides to voice his opinion (whatever it may be), we won’t be asking this question anymore.



Article written by Connor Link


36 responses to “Nick Saban criticizes ‘Bama fans for leaving early, should Calipari do the same?”

  1. here ya go

    “While Rupp Arena’s eRUPPtion Zone and reserved seating student sections may stay loud and loyal for the entire 40 minutes, the same cannot always be said for Kentucky basketball’s real source of income, the boosters and older crowd in the arena’s lower level.”

    while they have gotten better.. this statement is still as false as it comes.. our students as a whole,are neither loud nor loyal for 40 minutes. I laugh at the idiots who think it’s all on someone else. The students are responsible for the energy in the building and when it is not there, it is a direct representation on them. when you can hear a pin drop in Rupp (and you can often), why are you not criticizing the youth with all the energy to spend? You consistently attack the older fans of BBN when the real issue is that the younger fans sit on their collective butts and want to blame everyone else.

  2. hersheyisabear

    And the first blue hair finally comments on KSR.

  3. dubowski

    1 – “The students are responsible for the energy in the building and when it is not there, it is a direct representation on them”

    The energy in the building is the responsiblity of all the fans. By saying that you basically admitted that the only ones cheering are the younger crowd.

    Furthermore, how can it be only the students responsiblity when they only make up a fraction of the crowd.

    Your comment couldnt be more retarded.

  4. Absurd

    If they were giving these tickets to people they would have room to talk. They are PAYING for the ticket and can do whatever they want. The Alabama situation is different since they are reserving seats for certain groups. They can choose not to do that. UK should open up the lower deck to students and you’d see a rowdy crowd every time. But it’s all about money.

  5. steve

    I guess this is a slow Sunday. Let’s just make up something to talk about.

  6. bb

    You guys seem to favor great big government. The bigger it grows, the more control it needs. When that happens I lose, slowly and sneakily, but i lose some of my freedoms that i should have. When i am forced to buy shit that i might not want, then my freedom of choice has been taken away. I take that analogy to the leaving early situation. I personally would never leave a UK game early, but if I travel 3 hours and pay above face value for my right to see my team then i damn well will keep my right to pick my ass up and leave whenever I feel the need. It has nothing to do with ethics.

  7. Typical Blue Hair

    I pay YOU money. Why should I have to stand up, cheer, or wear blue?

  8. Gracie

    I could understand criticism of the “older crowd” if the student section was awesome — but it’s not. Maybe the Eruption Zone is loud for big games, but the rest of the student section only shows up for big games. And the student section at football games is even worse.

  9. LaLa Land

    When Saban misses a BCS Bowl then you can compare him to Cal.

  10. Maybe the dumbest

    post ever in the history of this site

  11. DB11

    @8 “the rest of the student section only shows up for big games”

    I’m sorry but the student section is always full, regardless of what game. I don’t think you realize exactly how difficult it is to get tickets as a student and where the rest of the student section is located.

  12. pfife

    It’s silly to compare the premier team in college football (Alabama) to the premier team in college basketball (Kentucky.) Interestingly, when Alabama came to CWS a few weeks ago there were four solid rows of Tide fans in the upper level ‘student section.’ The student section is lame, ignorant and is prone to try and start ‘the wave’ in close games.

  13. Carlson, Jr.

    I would like to see the following:
    – blue hair fight college student (BH -14)
    – college student fight bismo funyuns (BF -14)
    – mark stoops fight bob stoops (MS -10)
    – neal brown fight derek abney (DA -2)
    – nick saban fight tom bergeron (even)
    – randall cobb fight mike hartline (off)
    – drew franklin fight miley cyrus (DF -1)
    – skylar mcbee fight chester (C -infinity)

  14. Boogie

    You are out of touch with reality if you think the entire lower arena should be opened up to students while still expecting the millions of dollars of donations to continue flowing in. 19 year old kids thinking they are “better fans” because they can be louder…..get real…..

  15. Carlson, Sr.

    Carlson, Jr those odds make me beam with pride. They’re on the money!

    Seriously: RIP Lou Reed. Hate to hear of his passing; believe I’ll take a walk on the wild side.

  16. Ben

    #9 – How does a team with a Heisman candidate find itself in the Russell Athletic Bowl after having the weakest schedule in Division I football?


    I find it funny and somewhat insulting when coaches criticize people for leaving early for whatever reason, as if our money isn’t green, as if I (as a current student at UK), don’t pay literally tens of thousands of dollars per year to sit in a classroom and read some books preached by a professor in order to get a piece of paper after four years that says I did it. I could just as easily stay at home and read those same books and get the same education from them if society deemed that acceptable.

    So, if I see that we are butt-pounding some piece of crap bottom-dweller SEC basketball “team” by 25+ points with 10 mins to go in the game, you better damn well believe that I will leave early to go do something more entertaining, like, say, drink some alcohol which is not served at any game, ever (SEC thing, yes I know). So shut up you millionaires who get paid to teach basketball/football to 18 yr-olds, I decide when I want to leave the game.


    PS: I would bring in my own alcohol to basketball games if the wannabe rent-a-cops didn’t frisk me down like perverted TSA agents at the door.


    I forgot to mention that I’m a genius and get nothing out of the college experience. I could teach myself everything I’m learning at UK. Actually, I could coach this team better than Stoops…Cal too if I had that talent out there. Waaaaaah waaaaash waaaaah


    Hey CAyTS,

    Have fun mowing my lawn to help pay your loans off after you finish your degree in liberal arts/communications with special emphasis on crybaby behavior. Hehehehe!

    Now excuse me while I go enjoy some Miller High Life

  21. shagariobrzut

    UK has one of the worst student sections of the top programs. I’ve been in the student section many times and I’ve seen people reading books during the game. Plenty of people there have no interest in giving the Cats any kind of home court advantage or making any noise (or even really cheering for the team). Many are just there because they know someone who is there or want to be a part of the crowd. IMO, students that are in the Erupption Zone should be making noise, cheering loud, etc. If not, get a seat in the other student section.

  22. CliffFrankLou

    Once again, facts are optional on KSR for the authors. Plenty of games where the students don’t show up. Do your homework before you post. Validate your assertions from the Ticket office.

  23. schwing

    people in lexington don’t have the slightest clue what traffic is.

  24. Cousins Fake Tooth

    Who cares if they leave early. I leave early almost every game unless its close. Leaving with 1:30 left on the clock in a game that is decided, saves me 30-45 minutes sitting in a car fighting traffic. No problem with it at all. I paid my money the same as the ones that stay for that last 1:30.


    20- Miller High Life eh? Haha, cute. The Triangle fraternity is going harder these days I see.

  26. Louisville1Cal4

    I would never leave a game early but like some have said already if I want to leave early I sure as hell will. I paid for the ticket & made the 3 hour trip to watch them play, I reserve the right to leave if I want.
    Also, those saying it’s the students fault for Rupp not being loud is just plain stupid. The students make up what, 1/4th of the lower arena if that? Blame the old people who rarely cheer. I guarantee you if the lower arena could be just for students it would be loud constantly but that will never happen sadly…

  27. coppertop

    Every year, I save up some money to buy two good seats for one game, and a night at the hotel. We are usually surrounded by people who cheer, clap, and generally attempt to make noise. The eruption zone has to rely on some dude with a sign that tells them what to do. Most are stuffing their faces and texting. They look up just enough to catch when the tv cameras turn their way. There would be a louder crowd if everyone would get off their phones and watch the game, have a good amount of affordable seats in the lower arena (build box seats for bluehairs), and have a bigger student section. I don’t mind if you leave early, but I can only pay to see one game a year, so don’t block my view because I’m staying till the end!

  28. steve

    Please check ticketmaster and see how many tickets are left for every basketball game that has been open for sale this season. 1000 + and that is being generous. Students care about NC, Lou, Florida and maybe Tennessee. EVERY other game, student tickets can be purchased at face value by the general public. Rupp used to be sold out every game not anymore and it amazes me that this years team might be the most talented team of all time at Kentucky and it’s 1st home 6 games probably will NOT be sold out.

  29. Marvb

    I do agree with traffic issues. The traffic cops do a horrible job at directing traffic. I sat in a line for 30 minutes while the police continued to let traffic on the main road go. It was ridiculous. Just wanted to throw that out there

  30. sonny

    At what people have to pay for tickets after the scalpers get them all, they better shut up altogether unless they want to here crickets chirp while they play. We fans don’t have million dollar contracts to be there.

  31. sonny

    By the way this was about leaving early from games, not how loud Rupp is or if it sales out or not. Rupp is packed all the times I’ve been there and its been loud as well. Some will complain about anything given a place to do so. GO CATS

  32. kyrobman

    Of all the games I have been to, I don’t even go to the restroom. I want to soak up every second of the game. I was away for awhile in the dreeded tarheel state. And after always hearing everyone around there talk about how great and loyal their fans are. I promised myself once I got back to the great state of mine, I was so thankful to get to go to any UK game I can, I do not want to miss it. Plus there will be a day we wish we could be there. So with that said let’s make sure every team that steps into Rupp knows they will be battling the crowd as well as the team. Man I typed a lot there.

  33. PW

    Lexington is one of the worst cities for traffic? Please. People in DC, LA, and Atlanta would pay a monthly fee to have access to roads as unclogged add those in Lexington. If you park properly there is 0 issue with traffic leaving Rupp.

  34. Buckets

    Nick Saban criticizes ‘Bama fans for leaving early, should Calipari do the same?


  35. TrafficCop

    You’re talking out your @$$ if you think Lexington is know for having bad traffic. Try Atlanta bud…

  36. UK Fan in Alabama

    I love my cats but the Saban era is not at all like the Cal era. Maybe in terms of excitement but that’s about it. The Tide’s success is something hardly seen in the history of sports, we made a final four, won a title and then missed the tournament. They’ve won 3 titles since calipari has been here