UAB continues to embarrass the state

The University of Alabama at Birmingham once could claim to be good for the state’s image. Who could forget the fine basketball teams put on the court by Gene Bartow?

Those days of glory are over. What remains on Southside is a cancer and not an athletic department. And like a cancer it should be excised before more lines like this are written. From the AP, “Ten schools made the underachieving list in football and men’s basketball, getting punishments that range from scholarship losses to reductions in practice times. Only two — Alabama-Birmingham and New Mexico State — play in college football’s top level. UAB was the only school in the major football to receive a reduction in practice times in both sports.” (see the entire AP report on APR embedded below.)

The University of Alabama System must stop pouring money down the rathole known as UAB athletics. Stop it now. Kill UAB football and invest all that wasted money on UAB basketball. It would be good for UAB; it would be good for the state.

26 Comments

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  1. 1
    The Grammar Nazi

    And spending more money on football coaches salaries than most schools have for their entire athletics budgets is good stewardship?

    You are a moron.

  2. 2
    capstonereport

    Only a moron would make that statement Mr. Nazi.

    That is like saying spending a billion to build a steel mill is foolish. It is only foolish if you don’t get a return on your investment.

    Guess what. Alabama got its return on investment with increased revenues. Or have you failed to notice that Alabama’s athletic department has a total budget approaching $100 million a year?

  3. 3
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Cap, you really enjoy stoking the UAB fire dont you man? Its kind of funny.

    Yet a little twisted.

  4. 5
    stuartmark

    Nazi, you pig, the difference is the profit that Bama makes. So yeah it is good stewardship. Thats what happens in a capitalistic economy, or at it used to till the Bolsheviks invaded the White House and Congress.

  5. 6
    mlvikes13

    Excellent point Cap. I’m having trouble thinking of a better return on investment than Nick Saban, especially in this economy.

  6. 7
    Pluto

    I am really sick of this damn issue. I want you or anybody tell me what credible Mid-Major would allow Basketball only ?
    None – Damn it. Tell the fucking truth and quit bullshitting this issue Cap.

  7. 8
    capstonereport

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Division_I

    Shows that there are several small conferences that do not sponsor football. Also, the Big East has several schools like Villanova that do not sponsor football.

    Also, according to wikipedia (I know, I’m being lazy using Wikipedia instead of the official NCAA site, but it is midnight!), there are 337 division 1 basketball schools. There are 120 division 1 FBS schools.

    Why does a school need football when so many schools don’t play football?

    Here is a note that I find interesting since it is UAB’s old conference. Only 8 of the 13 Sun Belt conference schools sponsor football. Doesn’t the Sun Belt winner still get an automatic NCAA tournament invite? I bet UAB wishes it were still in that conference.

  8. 10
    capstonereport

    Who would give a damn about the Sun Belt?

    UAB fans did when the Blazers were in that conference? And a hell of a lot more of them did because attendance was good at the BJCC and I watched more Blazer games on television back then than I do today.

    You can be in a bad conference and still have excitement around the program—kind of like Memphis with C-USA.

    UAB needs to win games, win its conference and go to the NCAA tournament to generate excitement in this community.

    Football is killing UAB athletics. As soon as UAB fans admit that, the basketball program and the other athletic programs can be saved.

  9. 11
    Pluto

    No -it was a different time Cap. You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube guy. CUSA is right – right now. UAB’s demos match CUSA better than the mostly rural flavor of the Sunbelt and the rest of the Motley conferences that you propose UAB join.
    CUSA is the king of the Leper colonies.

  10. 12
    Hunter Ford

    “Why does a school need football when so many schools don’t play football?”

    Great question but turn that on its head.

    Why do so many schools play football?

    Gene Bartow used to ask that question to me when I interviewed him about UAB football.

    “Why does Jacksonville State, or Samford or Troy play football? And why should UAB not be able to?”

    Can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. that’s a great analogy. UAB football could have been more viable, in my opinion, had it settled in at a lower level. (D-1AA or whatever subdivision they call it these days) could have been a good fit. But UAB progressed quickly up the football division ladder out of circumstances. Basketball has always been legitimate and competitive in the top level from its very inception. Football had to move up quickly in division because of changing rules and because opportunities seemed right at the time. Gene Bartow had visions of UAB potentially being included in the ACC one day. Conference shake-ups did not pan out the way Coach Gene had hoped.

    Coach Gene also knows that there has been a movement going on, at least theoretically, for there to one day be a “Super Division” of major sports (or maybe just football, at the college level.

    This “super Division” would consist mainly of teams from the best conferences, like the Big 12, SEC etc.

    There were a lot of factors involved in UAB football.

    I have to agree that UAB football is not successful in any tangible way.

    Could it ever be turned around? It would take a lot of leadership and vision and that seems to be a longshot.

    I talked to Mike Gottfried about a year ago, (He was almost UAB’s first D-1 football coach) he told me that Cincinatti, where he once coached football, was in similar shape in the early 1980s. They had the pros and Ohio State to deal with and there was not much interest in their football. But…They got some big schools, including Alabama, to play them ….”Bear” Bryant even promised and made good on a trip to Cincy,… that helped them out. There is precedent for a school like UAB (Cincy is one) to make football work.

    A longshot for sure, but not theoretically impossible.

  11. 13
    capstonereport

    You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, but you sure as hell can wash it down the sink and throw away the empty tube.

    The argument for keeping UAB football boils down to they have it. They need to keep it.

    But I ask why? Why keep something that nobody wants. UAB graduates don’t want it. Most of them are in Tuscaloosa and Auburn on Saturdays anyway. UAB students don’t want it. If they did, they would show up for the games. More people from Hoover or Daphne or Oneonta show up for state championships at Legion Field than UAB fans and students show up for Blazer games.

    I challenge anyone to show me a fiscal reason to keep UAB football. If someone can present a coherent argument that makes financial sense, I’ll utter REVOCO! and recant my position. Or at the very least be happy to publish it as a guest commentary.

    Good to hear from you again Hunter. I do think Gene Bartow had a few other reasons for football. It was a chance for the coach to give Tuscaloosa the finger. If Bartow were honest, he would probably admit the personal animosity between himself and the UA coach hurt UAB more than it helped.

    UAB football reminds me of King Pyrrhus of Epirius. You can win the battle, but lose the war. UAB football was a pyrrhic victory.

  12. 14
    Hunter Ford

    I’m not sure football makes fiscal sense for many schools other than biggies like Alabama, Tennessee, or Oklahoma and USC etc. There are other things football does, PR, name recognition. A rallying point for students,… something to do for homecoming other than gurney races.

    Oh, I know… I’m going down a frivolous path, I’ll stop.

    The political intrigue with UAB and the UA Board of Trustees is very interesting and shouldn’t be ignored.

    Bartow and basketball was a great surprise to some people back in the day. Bartow was coming from UCLA. It would be like some small school in California starting a football team now and hiring Nick Saban away from Alabama to be their first coach.

    Some people didn’t even care to see UAB have basketball let alone a name brand coach to start things off. A handful of trustees and supporters did an end around Paul Bryant Sr and others just to get the basketball bouncing and it all went on from there.

    The anamosity (SP?) some UAB folks have has alienated people, like me for instance, who grew up loving Alabama Crimson Tide football, and would like to have a reason to support UAB in all endeavors, but keep being beat upside the head with anti-Alabama sentiments from a small group of UAB supporters who can’t see the bigger picture.

  13. 15
    capstonereport

    If football helps the school attract students or helps its public image, those are things with a real tangible and financial benefit to the school. I’d say those could be sound fiscal reasons for having football.

    However, UAB football has been a PR nightmare. It is a disgrace to the school and state.

    Most of the UAB supporters are Auburn fans in Blazer clothing—who only care to attack Alabama. It lost UAB the support it could have had in the community. And that is what is really sad.

  14. 16
    nate08uab

    Why do you guys care what UAB is doing? No one is writing about UAT at UAB. Student attitudes about UAB have changed in recent years. Granted, some UAB students are at the “capstone ” (also known as the stone too screwed up to make trustworthy contribution to a structure’s soundness) on the weekends to party with the guys who have been doing the same thing all week long, but there is a supporting core to all of the athletic programs at UAB. I’m not sure how you could know otherwise, since you should be in Tuscaloosa on Saturdays.

    Since our shared board is dominated by your backwards alumni, it has been tough to sell any winning investment strategy in most athletic programs (e.g. Jimbo Fisher, Mike Anderson, etc.).

    UAT has one of the highest paid coaches in the country, and you are still not content to focus on your successes. If your department is so profitable, your school would not be selling bonds to add to the monstrosity pinning your school to the map.

    Rest assured, your money is not being pumped into UAB’s programs, so you should stop pretending to have a valid, concerned opinion about UAB and its athletic department.

  15. 17
    capstonereport

    As I’ve said before, I matriculated at UAB—holding a degree from that institution. It gives me the right and the responsibility to comment on the situation.

    As for the bonds, any good business is going to finance $100 million capital expenditures. It provides a host of advantages—mainly allowing you to spread the cost of the capital investment over several years (say 10 years) instead of taking the hit in one budget, which would be foolish.

  16. 18
    nate08uab

    I don’t keep up with your reproductions of AP articles. Please excuse me. Why is it your responsibility to copy and paste old news with inciting remarks on a website that is not tied to people who, traditionally, want to make a positive change around the situation? Why don’t you write Brian Mackin or withdraw your financial support from the school?

    Do you even have the right to reproduce an AP article on your own website? Maybe you should consider this AP article, because you are about to be reported.

    http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2009/04/07/tech-090407-ap-online-news-aggregators.html

  17. 20
    capstonereport

    BTW, old news? This thread was posted the DAY the AP story was moved (notice the date on the top of the page for my posting and notice the time stamp on the AP article.)

    As for why I post it here? This is my website, and most people here pay taxes. That makes UAB an issue for every reader. Beyond that, I’ve posted several ways that UAB could help its athletic department by abandoning football and spending every dime wasted on the pigskin on its basketball program.

  18. 22
    aflanry

    So stop all programs that don’t generate profit. That would probably eliminate all women’s sports, as well as most men’s. And criticizing UAB for poor academic scores in the athletics program is weak. You should realize that UAB doesn’t give athletes free grades and UAB has a higher average ACT score than both Alabama and Auburn, and I have not seen many classes at UAB that aren’t grade on a curve in which over half the class get ‘C’s or worse.
    And Alabama had Jimmy Johns. I cant think of anything in UAB’s athletic history as embarrassing as that.

  19. 23
    Hunter Ford

    Wow. Got some Blazers out of the woodwork. UAB fans need a nickname ala Aubies or Barners… Blazerds?

  20. 24
    capstonereport

    In all honesty, sports that lose money probably should be killed unless there is a real reason to have them. Title IX forces us to keep the women’s sports…even if nobody wants to watch them.

    If UAB could have Division IAA (FCS or whatever it is now called) or Division 2 then I’d be more open to keeping football. But we can thank the NCAA’s rules that forced UAB into Division 1A.

    That said, athletic departments need to further the mission of the university. Does football further UAB’s mission? I don’t think it does.

    BTW, UAB grades on curve? I don’t remember any professor using that when I was there. Of course, I was there in the good old days of 10 week terms.

  21. 25
    TomCarl

    Generally the comment section is reserved for readers. Most decent and respectable ‘journalists’ would not spend their day defending their ‘work’, although I wouldn’t quite label your three paragraph rant work by any means. Each of your posts furthers one’s belief that you are completely talking out of your ass. Please attempt to create some sound argument originating elsewhere.

    Now go spend the money you’ve earned through that sweet job daddy, or maybe your brother’s daddy, lined up and tell your Stepford wife to lay off the Chardonnay… it’s not gameday yet.

  22. 26
    capstonereport

    Generally, blogs encourage interaction between writer, editor and the general public. That is why blogs are blossoming and newspapers are dying.

    I’m not ‘defending’ my work—I have engaged in a conversation with readers and answered specific questions about the time the story was posted, and my website’s right to publish AP material, etc. Also as a stakeholder in UAB, the university should consider what I say as a person filled with love for that place.

    Or at least, as someone who will tell the truth about the joke that is UAB football.

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