The NCAA requires 14 Division I sports teams (with at least six men's sports) to stay eligible for Division I status. With the football program dissolved, UAB is down to five men's sports. The CarrSports Consulting folks recommended men's cross country and track as the sports to add to stay up on that level.
Staying in Conference USA will remain an uphill fight since their by-laws mandate football for membership.
From the press release that UAB put out with the announcement:
In eliminating football, UAB will be better positioned to invest in programs where the institution can be sustainably competitive on a conference and even national level. Funds from discontinued programs will be redirected to more fully support UAB's priority sports and build those into championship programs.
“We are not looking to reduce the athletic budget, but instead to reallocate our resources to remaining athletic programs,” Watts said. “This strategic plan will give us our best chance to win championships and national prominence. Many of our programs have been on the cusp, and funds redirected from football can propel them to the next level. The best days for UAB Athletics are yet to come.”
The HQ would LOVE to know what sports are a priority on campus in President Watts' view IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA OTHER THAN FOOTBALL!!!
Alan Collins was in front of a group of angry students protesting in front of the admininstration building for another day
John Archibald, in his Al.com column, brings forth more evidence that some combination of the CarrSports folks, the Board of Trustees, and President Watts were in on this for a long time and it had to do with the contract with Legion Field:
The contract in 2010 ran for four years, until the end of UAB's 2013 football season.
But this spring, UAB asked for a different deal. And though it irked some city workers, UAB got what it wanted. A one-year contract to play at Legion Field.
"This Agreement shall have effect for a period of one (1) year beginning at the start of UAB's 2014 football season (July 21, 2014) and ending at the conclusion of UAB's 2014 football season (December 15, 2014)."
Draw your own conclusion there...
And Birmingham Mayor William Bell was told by Watts last week that there was nothing to worry about...
So much for that idea...