Staff Report

Students rally for Free UAB movement.Students rally for Free UAB movement (Photo by Cooper Crippen).Sunday afternoon, just one day after the UAB football team earned its bowl eligibility by defeating Southern Mississippi 45-24, word was released that the UAB football program could be nearing an end.

Sunday afternoon, just one day after the UAB football team earned its bowl eligibility by defeating Southern Mississippi 45-24, word was released that the UAB football program could be nearing an end.

According to ESPN reporter Joe Schad, Head Coach Bill Clark said that the program could possibly be shut down by the end of the week. “I think it’s going to happen,” said Clark. “Unless something changes before the weekend ends, I think it’s over.” Clark later sent out a Tweet saying “Contrary to news, We haven’t heard any decision about our program. We are still fighting!”

According to USA Today Sports, there is no known back up plan for UAB’s other teams, but it certainly brings about questions regarding their future. In addition, there are many student activities that support the football team at their games, including the marching band with auxiliary and cheerleaders.

The average number of people at UAB’s six home football games this season was 21,841 people (ESPN.com). That’s 4,967 more people than UAB’s current student body.

ESPN reported that by dropping Blazer football, UAB would be required to leave Conference USA in other sports, including basketball. The Blazer basketball teams are scheduled to host the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this spring.

According to the Office of Postsecondary education, there are currently 371 athletes participating in UAB sports teams. Of that 371, 112 are football players. Overall, only 157 are women and 214 are men. If UAB cuts football, it leaves women’s sports without hope for future growth or scholarships.

People fighting for Blazer football to be diminished are forgetting that for some people, athletic scholarships are the only way they can afford to go to college. According to USA Today, UAB awarded $6,161,702 in athletic scholarships in 2013.

It’s a college’s responsibly to provide their students with an education. UAB’s new branding prides itself on being the source of knowledge that will change your world, but it’s threatening to take that away from student athletes by threatening students’ financial situations.

It is an act of brutality to take away someone’s education.

Would the Board of Trustees really shut the program down before UAB has a chance to play in a bowl game? Of course. Without a strong sports program, the Board can simply use UAB as the medical extension of the University of Alabama (UA).

UAB’s economic impact on Alabama for 2013 exceeded $5 billion (uab.edu/impact). In the same year, UA’s impact was just over $2 billion (cber.cba.ua.edu).

With a larger presence in every collegiate aspect, UA’s numbers don’t match up to their size and their ego.

USA Today reported that UA football Coach Nick Saban will make $6.9 million a year for the next eight seasons under a pay package that was unanimously approved by the BOT. That $6.9 million is still less than what UAB generates for the state of Alabama in one week (which, according to uab.edu/impact, is $96.1 million if you’re curious).

UA may dominate the Board, but UAB contributes the most to the state of Alabama and creates more jobs than UA and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) combined. UAB supports more than 61,000 jobs; UA offers 11,900 jobs; and UAH sustains 7,773 jobs (uasystem.ua.edu/initiatives/economic-impact).

The Board needs to recognize UAB as a powerful force and vital aspect of the UA school system.

The trending #FreeUAB needs to stand as our battle cry.
Free UAB from the Board to establish our own Board focused on our own needs. Free UAB from the allegations that our sports teams are useless and drain money. Free UAB from the shadow of UA. Free UAB from administration that isn’t student-focused.
There is a USGA Town Hall meeting tonight, Dec. 6, in the Blazer RLC at 6 p.m. to allow students to express their concerns about the reported decision to end UAB football. Come show your support for all of UAB athletics and let the administration know that the community is willing to fight for this.

Blazers down the Dunkin' Dogs

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Senior William "HaHa" Lee throws down a two-handed dunk during the Blazers 74-62 win over La Tech.
Photo by Lakyn Shepard/Photo Editor

Connor Gentry
Sports Editor

The UAB men's basketball team improved to 13-5 and 4-1 in conference play as they continued their 2018 campaign against the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech University, 10-9 and 1-5 in conference play. The Bulldogs started the contest shooting the ball well and held a 40-39 lead over the Blazers after the first half. However, the Blazers rallied and won the contest 74-62 behind senior Chris Cokley's 24 points.

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Men's Basketball: Four score in double digits to lead Blazers to victory over Southern Miss


UAB junior guard Jalen Perry goes up and under against Southern Miss’ Josh Conley in the Blazers’ 86-75 win Thursday night in Bartow Arena.
Photo by Christopher Dennan/Staff Photographer

Savannah Snowden
Sports Reporter

In their first home game of 2018, the UAB men’s basketball team began with a pace that lasted until the end, ultimately defeating the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 86-75 to improve to 12-5 on the year and 3-1 in conference play.

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Beat by the heat: Ohio's hot start ends UAB's season with Bahamas Bowl loss

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The Blazers’ defense lines up against the Ohio Bobcats, led by quarterback Nathan Rourke, during the 2017 Bahamas Bowl in Nassau.
Photo by Will Harris/Sports Editor

Will Harris
Sports Editor

Two years in the making. Two years of patience, hard work and support paid off in a magical season for the 2017 UAB Football team. The winningest season at the FBS level felt like a dream and ended in paradise.  

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Men's Basketball: Three-pointer bring crowd to their feet in Bartow

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Deion Lavender goes up-and-under the rim for the layup against Chattanooga
Photo by Lakyn Shepard

Will Harris
Assistant Sports Editor

With a huge lead in hand for the Blazers, freshman guard Hunter Reynolds stepped out onto the floor Monday night at Bartow Arena. The crowd was happy with the large lead over Chattanooga, but they needed one more basket to send them to their feet. Reynolds rolled off a screen set by a teammate and drained a three-pointer to send the crowd home on a good note.

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Women's Basketball: UAB takes victory over Southern Illinois

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Imani Johnson fights for the shot down under the basket against Southern Illinois
Photo by Christophre Dennan/Staff Photographer

Will Harris
Assistant Sports Editor

Monday night, the UAB women’s basketball team took on the Southern Illinois Salukis in a non-conference matchup. The Blazers were fresh off a 15-point win over Mississippi Valley State Saturday. Both teams entered with a record of 1-0. The Blazers also have a 1-0 all-time record against the Salukis.

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Football: UAB secures win over UTSA

Will Harris
Assistant Sports Editor

On Saturday night, UAB traveled to San Antonio, Texas to take on the UTSA Roadrunners in a Conference USA west division showdown.

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