Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Long Live UAB Football: President Kills Program- The Press Conference

((HT: MyFoxAlabama/WBRC-TV))

So, as it turns out, it wasn't JUST football...

To satisfy Title IX guidelines, it is football, rifle, and bowling that are going away at Alabama-Birmingham.

President Ray Watts came in through a back door and had this press conference

Players were involved in a heated discussion with President Watts and UAB VP of Finance G. Allen Bolton, Jr. and Watts was cussed at when he exited the fieldhouse where they gave their dissertation.

Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky released a statement:

“We are aware of the study but disappointed with the decision to discontinue the sport of football at UAB, particularly because of its effect on the lives of the student-athletes and coaches that have worked so hard to restore the quality of the program. We don't fully understand the decision, nor agree with it, but do respect it and the authority of the UAB Administration to make it.

As a conference, we will move forward in our pursuit of excellence in athletics and academics, with the primary goal of providing a positive educational experience for all of our 5,000 student-athletes. Our universities have invested in athletics, and in facilities to support athletics, and are focused on their student-athletes and the contribution college athletics makes on their campuses and in their communities.

UAB has been a contributing member to the Conference since its inception and has expressed a strong interest in remaining a member, a topic that the Conference's Board of Directors will take up in the months ahead. The Conference's current bylaws require all members to sponsor football.”

Head coach Bill Clark released a written statement:

"This is one of the most difficult days that I have had to endure in my personal as well as my coaching career.

I am absolutely heartbroken for my players and my assistant coaches. These coaches and players have done a tremendous job and have worked extremely hard for this university, to achieve six wins and be bowl eligible.

I want to pay a special tribute to our many loyal fans for all the support hey have given us this season and especially, during these last few challenging weeks.

Sometimes we as people do not understand why certain things happen; however my faith tells me that God has a plan for the lives of our players, my coaching staff, and for me and my family.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have had here at UAB and making so many new relationships during my time here.

There is no doubt in my mind that we were in the process of building something special at UAB. This goes further than our football program, the athletics department, or the university as a whole. This team is Birmingham - we represent Birmingham and this community.

It is unfortunate that it has come to this. But again, it is a decision that has been reached and I must respect it and will move forward.

Thank you Birmingham and the UAB Community for everything you have done for our players, this coaching staff and me personally."

The issue now for UAB is to find a conference that will accept them without football- and that will be an interesting quest.

More when we know more...

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