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When the brains behind the BCS get together to defend their decision to decide football's champion in a hard drive instead of on a field they are quite fond of pointing out how much class time would be missed as a result of the extra games a tournament requires. Thanks to the University of Alabama, they'll need to take their talking points back to the drawing board.
Alabama is giving the entire student body three days off of school, January 6th-8th, because the football team is meeting Texas in the BCS title game on January 7th. The powers that be say that their decision was based on how many students needed to be at the game, which is being played in Pasadena, and how it would be silly to hold classes with so many empty seats.
Finally, we have the answer to why Alabama ranks 49th in the nation on the math portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
The University of Alabama has an enrollment of nearly 29,000 students this year and, at most, 250 of them are needed in Pasadena on the 7th. You've got the players, managers, student trainers, cheerleaders and the marching band. Maybe there's a student radio station that calls the games, but they probably have a more professional outfit for a team that takes precedence over the actual mission of an institution of higher learning.
Plenty of other students will be headed to the game but they aren't needed there. They're forking over some serious cash to watch their team play the big game. More power to them, many of us would do the same if we had the time and money, but that shouldn't overshadow the fact that the vast majority of Alabama students will be in Tuscaloosa on those three days.
Hell, cancel classes on the 8th, the day following the game, and use the excuse that everyone on campus will be hungover beyond belief. It's honest and there's a good chance that any attempts at teaching would be futile in the face of bloodshot eyes and vomit-streaked shirts. Three days off, on the other hand, is shameful unless the school is willing to admit that they have no intention of actually educating anyone about anything beyond the Cover-2 defense.
The "University" of Alabama's slogan at the moment is "Touching Lives." It should be "Touchdowns Are All That Matters."