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Alabama Suspends Classes for Title Game in Pasadena

John Boller@jboll0327Correspondent IDecember 10, 2009

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 27:  Terrence Cody #62 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 27, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On January 7, 2010, the Alabama Crimson Tide will play for the National Championship for the first time in nearly two decades.

The last time the Tide played for a football national title was in 1992, when they defeated the University of Miami 34-13.

Alabama will hope that the start of the new decade will be the beginning of their return back to college football prominence.

Nick Saban is in just his third season as the captain of the Tide’s ship and he has already appeared to have healed the wounds of recent forgettable football seasons.

So, with the program’s first shot at winning a national title in 18 years, the University is doing everything they can to give their student body the chance to only worry about the big game in Pasadena.

The Alabama announced today that they will suspend classes the day before, the day of, and the day after the National Championship game.

This news has had mixed responses within the University.

Some members of the University of Alabama faculty senate have been quoted in The Birmingham News as being “profoundly disappointed” about the decision. A professor also said he was “embarrassed” that the university would make such a decision, considering that only five percent of the student body is expected to attend the game in January.

However, Senate Vice President Clark Midkiff told The Birmingham News that he and the senate president gave campus administrators their full support to suspend the classes.

Alabama's current undergraduate enrollment is around 23,000, which means that 1,150 undergraduates will make the trip out to Pasadena.

Is that enough to justify canceling a few days of school at the beginning of the spring semester?

However, just because only 1,150 students are going to be physically at the game, does not mean that the other 21,850 will not be glued to their television set that night, the days leading up to the game, and the days after if Alabama wins.

Also, Alabama is not the only school that has decided to cancel classes because of a bowl game.

Troy University will start their spring semester two days later so it will be easier for their students to travel to Mobile and watch their team play in the GMAC Bowl against Central Michigan on January 6th.

Is this really that big of a deal though?

I mean, we are talking about SEC football; a conference that has been dominating college football in recent years, and now has one of the conference’s most prestigious programs back in the spotlight.

By doing this, is Alabama saying they care more about athletics than they do about academics?

Are they just trying to give their students and faculty a chance to show their school spirit, or is this a way to reward and give back to them for their achievements in the classroom?

The university has said that they will make up for the canceled academic days during the spring semester, so it’s not like they are short-changing their faculty and their student body’s academic experience.

Sure, it might force some of the faculty to adjust a few things and cut a few days into their students’ summer vacation.

However, wouldn’t the program’s 13th National Championship help ease those sacrifices?

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