Author Topic: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?  (Read 13181 times)

Offline smedindy

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It's been reported that UAB's football program will be shut down by the board that runs Alabama, UAB and UA - Huntsville. There are a lot of reasons (bad stadium, apathy) but mostly it's because of reported bad blood and political shenangians. They didn't allow UAB to build an on-campus facility and Legion Field is falling apart and is not a fan-friendly environment.

It's alleged that Bear Bryant's son is the one leading the vendetta against UAB due to a feud with the Bartow family. Murray Bartow started the UAB basketball program after leaving UCLA and the athletics department has grown and in some cases outshines Alabama's in many sports.

The question I have is for state school programs in D3 - could this happen in our universe? Could a program or school get crossways with the trustees or regents and a program could get shut down for no reason except politics?

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 07:28:53 pm »
It's been reported that UAB's football program will be shut down by the board that runs Alabama, UAB and UA - Huntsville. There are a lot of reasons (bad stadium, apathy) but mostly it's because of reported bad blood and political shenangians. They didn't allow UAB to build an on-campus facility and Legion Field is falling apart and is not a fan-friendly environment.

It's alleged that Bear Bryant's son is the one leading the vendetta against UAB due to a feud with the Bartow family. Murray Bartow started the UAB basketball program after leaving UCLA and the athletics department has grown and in some cases outshines Alabama's in many sports.

The question I have is for state school programs in D3 - could this happen in our universe? Could a program or school get crossways with the trustees or regents and a program could get shut down for no reason except politics?
For most of us familiar with Colorado College situation, yes, it has happened recently, and before that Swarthmore.

Offline smedindy

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2014, 07:32:51 pm »
Of course. I was talking mostly about state systems where the governance is sometimes removed from the local campuses - but yes those situations have similarities.

Offline HSCTiger74

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 10:40:59 pm »
Of course. I was talking mostly about state systems where the governance is sometimes removed from the local campuses - but yes those situations have similarities.

  This might be a good question to post on the WIAC and NJAC boards, since both of them are preponderantly made up of state supported schools. Maybe the MASCAC too.
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Offline jknezek

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2014, 09:41:26 am »
I think it's less relevant than it seems. The Tuscaloosa focused Board has always been skeptical of UAB as anything but a medical school with a commuter college attached. They want the medical school, but the undergrad is really neglected. UAB has always had a doctor as provost, so even the school itself is less interested in the undergrad except as a way to grow.

The athletic focus comes and goes with the various provosts and presidents. In the mid-80s there was an activist provost who wanted to bring football to campus. He got the ball rolling, but didn't stick around long enough, or have enough clout, to actually pay for it. So UAB's football facilities are awful. Not just playing in Legion Field, which is decrepit, but the football offices, practice field, etc., all of it is terrible for a good D3 program, let alone an FBS program.

At this point the Board has to make the decision to invest heavily in UAB football to bring it up to D1 standards, or to let the program go. The Board, which is tepid if not antagonistic toward UAB football since Coach Bryant's son is following in Bear's absolute opposition to UAB football existing, is not going to approve the money. The current UAB provost is not greatly in favor of football either. So outside the football offices, there isn't much support for the program at the admin levels.

Most alums identify with Auburn or Alabama for football, so there isn't even a strong audience for the program although if they started winning it would probably improve. But without a lot of money, the program is an embarrassment.

That is a different issue than our D3 state schools. The funding needs are miniscule compared to the funding needs at UAB. Not to say it can't happen, but shutting down a D3 football program would not happen with the long-term politics and money issues tied up with UAB.

If the Alabama Board could figure it out, they'd probably try and shut UAB's basketball program as well. That program, however, has a strong supporter in the Bartow family. Something football is notably lacking.

Offline smedindy

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2014, 11:36:39 am »
Thanks for the insight! I just hope D3 isn't caught in these types of shenanigans.

Offline Gray Fox

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 04:29:47 pm »

It's alleged that Bear Bryant's son is the one leading the vendetta against UAB due to a feud with the Bartow family. Murray Bartow started the UAB basketball program after leaving UCLA and the athletics department has grown and in some cases outshines Alabama's in many sports.

GENE Bartow.  UCLA alums ran him out of town because he wasn't John Wooden. :'(
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 06:37:36 pm »
As for UAB as a medical school, it is one of the most reputable in the country.

And when one gets away from the bi-coastal myopia of quality (that is being unable to see anything more than 50 miles inland from the Atlantic or Pacific) UAB is very highly respected.

(Remember the posters that show the view of the United States looking to the west of the Charles or Hudson Rivers.  Q.E.D.)

Offline smedindy

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2014, 08:03:48 pm »

It's alleged that Bear Bryant's son is the one leading the vendetta against UAB due to a feud with the Bartow family. Murray Bartow started the UAB basketball program after leaving UCLA and the athletics department has grown and in some cases outshines Alabama's in many sports.

GENE Bartow.  UCLA alums ran him out of town because he wasn't John Wooden. :'(

I mixed up Bartow father and son...sigh...

Offline Just Bill

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Offline jknezek

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 11:22:30 am »
Looks like it's going to happen...

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/12/uab_president_ray_watts_expect.html

Interesting. Given the alternative was to dig out $70-$100MM for an on campus stadium and other improvements, I suppose this isn't too shocking. Will be interesting to see if it is trend-setting or if schools continue to strive for that elusive FBS money.

Offline jknezek

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2014, 03:58:58 pm »
The first FBS program in almost 20 years to die is the UAB Blazers. I suspect if you look around at other mid major teams lacking facilities or with facilities desperately in need of upgrade you will see some administrators thinking very deeply in the near future...

Offline FCGrizzliesGrad

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2014, 04:17:47 pm »
Not just football... but bowling and rifle? I'm sure not much money is coming in from those two but they can't be that big of a drain on the budget.
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Offline jknezek

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2014, 04:26:37 pm »
Not just football... but bowling and rifle? I'm sure not much money is coming in from those two but they can't be that big of a drain on the budget.

The important thing is they are WOMEN'S bowling and rifle. They can kill those small teams and probably relatively large costs because they are taking a huge chunk of mens expenses away.

Offline smedindy

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Re: UAB Football To Be Shut Down - Repercussions For State School D3 Programs?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2014, 04:35:02 pm »
I bet it's a Title IX thing. It works both ways...