By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
Back in December of 2014 the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) shut down their football program citing money concerns. Now it is back after some $27 million was raised by various sources. How did this happen? Well, it’s not all about money.
Killing an FBS program takes some balls. While money always plays a part it wasn’t the only reason in this case. Fox Sports Tim Brando and his team did some work and laid it out on The Audible podcast last week. Apparently legendary coach Bear Bryant’s son, Paul Bryant Jr, wanted UAB gone. It’s so unbelievable, and so very Southern, that Bryant was allegedly able to get the UAB football program killed off. Brando explains it better than we could ever write it so do yourself a favor and listen to the podcast.
It’s hard enough to be a football program outside of the Power 5. Then to have someone lead a charge against you while you’re trying to be a viable program is like pouring salt in an open wound.
Look at the position that UAB is now in because of this mess; they won’t play football again until maybe 2016, players have left, and it will almost be impossible to recruit anyone of any ability to go there because of what happened. If head coach Bill Clark thought this was a tough job before, well it got even harder.
College football is in a big transition period. There are so many issues facing the sport right now from the debate over paying players to concussions to who should be allowed to play for a National Title. What it doesn’t need is what happened to UAB.