The University of Alabama may be the favorite in this weekend's NCAA gridiron matchup against the University of Tennessee, but a student group says the Crimson Tide is outmatched by the Volunteers' free speech policy.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Young America's Foundation (YAF) sent a letter to the University of Alabama Monday on behalf of a student group asking the school to review and correct its Facilities and Grounds Use Policy so that it no longer bans speech without a permit that is not "casual" or related to recent national news events in the minds of university administrators.
"It's almost the third Saturday in October, but while no one born since the advent of the iPhone can remember a Tennessee victory over Alabama on the gridiron, Tennessee's free speech winning streak over Alabama is alive and well," the letter begins.
The letter goes on to challenge Alabama officials to agree to revise their policy to be at least as good as rival University of Tennessee – which has no such ban – prior to Saturday's football match-up between the two schools.
"Today's college students are going to be tomorrow's judges and our legislators and our voters, so the lessons they are learning about how the First Amendment works are going to impact our future," ADF Center for Academic Freedom Director Casey Mattox pointed out. "So, as a lifelong Bama fan, I hope that the university will agree that these future leaders of our state and our nation should not be taught that they have to seek the government's permission to speak freely."
Mattox also stressed that Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban demands nothing short of perfection on the field and that Alabama students deserve nothing short of adherence to the First Amendment on their campus.
YAF Spokesman Spencer Brown if fighting to ensure that college students’ constitutional rights do not cease the moment the walk onto campus.
"We at Young America's Foundation unfortunately see universities place this kind of prior restraint on speech with increasing frequency," Brown proclaimed. "Bold YAF activists are leading the charge on college campuses around the country to help restore First Amendment freedoms for all students."