The biggest college football showdown of the weekend will be between Alabama and LSU in Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon. However, the Student Government Association at the University of Alabama reportedly sent out a letter on Wednesday warning students that protesting President Donald Trump, who will be in attendance, could result in the loss of reserved seating for the balance of the season.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Alabama SGA issued a statement in response to the AL.com story.
"The SGA strongly affirms its belief in free speech and the rights of all students to express their opinions. Today's report erroneously assigned a political context to a message meant only to remind students about heightened security and the consequences of altercations or other behaviors unbecoming of a University of Alabama student, as defined in the Capstone Creed. We look forward to cheering on the Crimson Tide, alongside the student body, on Saturday afternoon."
Vice President of Student Affairs Jason Rothfarb penned the letter, which instructed students to be in their assigned sections earlier than usual and detailed the expected wait times and extra security presence in the student sections. 60 campus groups have reserved blocks of seats for the game, with the majority of those being Greek organizations.
The final line of the letter contained a warning about protests. It reads, “Any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season.” The Alabama SGA did not respond to a request for comment on the letter from the Alabama Media Group.
It was reported Monday that President Trump plans to be in attendance at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon. This will be President Trump’s third weekend in a row at an American sporting event, as his visit to UFC 244 last Saturday was preceded by a trip across Washington D.C. for Game 5 of the World Series on October 27. He was booed soundly at that game in the nation’s capital.
President Trump previously attended the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship between Alabama and Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The extra security measures taken left thousands of fans stuck outside before the game, with kickoff taking place before many had reached their seats.
Alabama (8-0) checked in at second in the first College Football Playoff rankings, with LSU (8-0) claiming the top spot. Kickoff for the No.1-No.2 showdown is at 2:30 PM on Saturday.