The SEC has mandated that all schools use metal detectors at all entrances of every football stadium by 2020. The University will put metal detectors at the student section entrance for this Saturday’s game against Alabama.
This is the first time the University is putting metal detectors at the student gate, and now is not the time to start experimenting with security policies.
Why pick the biggest and most anticipated game of the year to enforce new security measures and slow down the process of entering the stadium?
The new requirements require fans to put their cell phones in bins prior to entering the stadium, similar to the TSA policies at airports.
While safety is a very important issue, this policy of metal detectors and putting cell phones in bins at every entrance is overboard, intrusive and will only delay the amount of time it takes to enter the stadium.
Standing in line is already unpleasant enough, but the SEC’s mandate will turn football stadiums into airports, as far as security goes. There is no need for metal detectors, and they will only anger fans who will now have to wait in longer lines than previous years. The current security protocol is efficient and does not need to be replaced.
At most games I’ve attended, there were security guards with handheld metal detector wands scanning people randomly, which is much faster than putting phones in bins.
Most people going to the game have cell phones with them, so this mandate will affect thousands of people wishing to enter the stadium in a timely manner. It gets very hot during day games played in September and October, and forcing people to stand in line longer might pose health concerns to fans, especially older folks.
There is no need for this mandate, as the current security protocol at football stadiums efficiently allows the flow of fans in and out of its gates with few problems. Adding metal detectors will only increase the time it takes to enter the stadium.
Adding to the list of unpopular mandates, the SEC has also suspended junior linebacker Devin White for the first half of the Alabama game for a controversial targeting penalty, with no appeals process provided. The SEC should at least allow for a review of the targeting penalty or allow for a formal appeals process.
The SEC has turned into an authoritarian regime ruling over college football with an iron fist. Although it is not the University’s fault Tiger Stadium will have metal detectors, the timing and implementation was decided poorly.
It should be up to each individual school to decide whether they want to require metal detectors at their football stadiums or not. This will probably be the busiest and most crowded game of the year, yet the University chooses a huge rivalry game to enforce metal detectors at the student section entrances that will no doubt substantially slow the process of entering the stadium.
Max Nedanovich is a 21-year-old mass communication junior from Mandeville, Louisiana.