The University of Alabama’s Red Tide football program caused a stir in the college sports world this week when it was revealed that the team is using Apple to monitor players’ physical fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coach Nick Saban said on Thursday that new coaches from the bodybuilding and fitness team David Ballou and Matt Rhea equipped all players with an apple to monitor their health, The Athletic reported.
“They played a very important role in creating this whole program of what we do with players in terms of exercise for Apple, apps on their phones for weight training programs,” said Saban of Ballou and Rhea. “We had a problem with some players who had nowhere to train because the schools are closed. We put them in group training programs. They did very well. to manage that so far, and the players have done a great job of responding to that. ‘
Alabama, like many other schools, moved from physics to distance learning during the current crisis, a decision that also has implications for sports activities.
Other teams questioned Apple’s commitment to Alabama. During the low season COVID-19, the Southeast NCAA conference prohibited teams from monitoring players’ physical activity and providing mandatory training sessions. In particular, the SEC’s policy for off-season activities states that “virtual participation in the physical activities of student athletes (such as distance training or training sessions) is prohibited.”
For its part, Alabama says it does not use Apple to track distance training or instruct athletes, according to the report. Instead, the devices monitor players’ health, measure sleep patterns and possible heart spikes. It is important to note that the data collected from Apple is reviewed by the school’s sports director and is not used by Ballou and Rhea to track or report training, the Athletic sources said.
“The SEC is aware that Alabama provided apples to some of our athlete athletes,” said Matt Self, Alabama’s senior compliance partner, in a statement. “We are in constant communication with the SEC to discuss the proper use of this and other resources to ensure the health and well-being of our student athletes during this crisis.”
Apple’s efforts in Alabama may prompt other teams to take similar measures, although the SEC is unlikely to allow teams to take full advantage of the device’s potential as a training tool, as these measures are expensive and therefore only available for programs high level.