Move over coach Saban

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The issue: A-Day scrimmage conflicts with Olympic triathlon try-outs.

Our take: Switch the A-Day date.

University of Alabama football is important to a lot of people all over the state. So is hosting the try-outs for the Olympic triathlon.

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It&8217;s not often that Alabama gets such distinction as to host a U.S. Olympic trial. That&8217;s why its puzzling that the Coach Nick Saban and university officials would insist on holding the annual A-Day scrimmage on April 19, the same day as the Olympic try-outs.

Sure, we understand that last year about 105,000 people packed campus for the A-Day festivities and Bryant-Denny Stadium attendance set a national record.

But here&8217;s the deal. The A-Day isn&8217;t set for a particular date. University officials could change their minds.

Thousands of people will be in Tuscaloosa for the Olympic trials. Thousands of people will be in Tuscaloosa for the A-Day scrimmage. Imagine the challenges with hotels and restaurants and other service industries with those two groups in town on the same day.

Plus, the Olympic trials have to be held in the afternoon to simulate conditions in Beijing during the 2008 games. Some roads will have to close, possibly backing up A-Day traffic for miles.

Now is a good time for Coach Saban to prove what he says about Alabama being a good neighbor.

Move over, Coach. Switch the date. The triathletes deserve a shot at Tuscaloosa, too.