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Report: UAB To Shut Down Its Football Program

Illustration for article titled Report: UAB To Shut Down Its Football Program

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is reportedly shuttering its football program, becoming the first FBS football program to close since University of the Pacific in 1995.


Blazers athletic director Brian Mackin is also being fired. Per Thayer Evans:

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees oversees funding for Alabama, Alabama at Birmingham, and Alabama in Huntsville, which doesn't have a football team. Earlier this month, Jon Solomon of CBS Sports wrote about the feud between trustee (and Bear Bryant's son) Paul Bryant Jr., and the late Gene Bartow, known as the father of UAB's athletics:

"Gene Bartow, out of his mouth, told me on many, many occasions that the aim of the board of trustees was to kill UAB football in the last 8-10 years," said Jimmy Filler, UAB's biggest booster and the creator of the UAB Football Foundation. "They're going to get the recommendation from [UAB President Ray Watts], and they'll accept what he brings to them."

Alabama state Rep. Jack Williams, a longtime supporter of UAB, said the board has always been opposed to UAB football.

"It's been a thorn in their flesh since day one," Williams said. "I think they've done everything to kill it. I'll be honest: I think the program's success this year may be what leads to its demise if the board goes through with this because people are excited."

The Blazers became bowl-eligible for the third time in school history after Saturday's win over Southern Miss.

Photo: AP