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UAB Reinstates Football, But Will Anyone Care In A Year Or Two?

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The on-again, off-again saga in Southside Birmingham has a new chapter.

Jackie Paper and Ray Watts give Puff a second chance.
Jackie Paper and Ray Watts give Puff a second chance.

According to multiple reports, UAB is expected to retain its football program this season. In essence, the Blazers gave themselves a self-imposed death penalty for the past six months: an entire recruiting season is lost, facilities are still abyssal, next year's recruiting has been hamstrung by lack of contact and institutional security -- and on and on it goes.

There is literally no idea as to what benchmarks for success, attendance, and W-Ls the Blazers will have or must have, or whether the team will be anything other than the money pit it has been for a decade-and-a-half. But, this team is certain to be at the bottom of a woeful C-USA for the next few years. The one upside is that UAB still has head man, Bill Clark under contract through the coming year, but he's almost certainly off to a better program after 2015-2016.

What does this mean for Alabama? Absolutely nothing. Tuscaloosa was, has been, and remains out of this. UAB's decision-making is internal and not influenced by what anyone at the Capstone may think. Moreover, despite some truly lazy narratives, the Board of Trustees did not signal a direction to UAB on this one in either direction.

Now that the verdict has been reached, I'm particularly curious to see what kind of sustained support the Blazers will receive (if any) from the Football Hipsters, Auburn fans, #FreeUAB hashtag warriors and others who used UAB as their clickbait and cause célèbre. My guess is the same number of people who knew the roster, UAB's record, or attended a game in dying Gray Lady of Legion Field.

Ed. Note: There is apparently some confusion here. I am not, and have never been, against UAB football, UAB having success, or Birmingham generally. Hell, I have a Masters degree from UAB. If they can carve out some niche of success, good on them. If the Blazers can do so while also not bankrupting the Alabama system, even better. The problem is, butts aren't in seats, and never have been. The program is not profitable, and never has been. That's not a Tuscaloosa problem or a 'Bama Booster issue, that's on Birmingham. The town, simply put, has never voted with their attendance or their wallet. And I, for one, am really damned sick of negativity coming from outsiders who can't understand that millions of dollars of deficits are as much a reason to terminate a program as any, much less don't understand the political realities that go into assignments on the Board or the very real culture of favoritism that determines board politics. It really ISN'T all about football, folks.