hunter ford

Many Alabama fans reluctantly accept the existence of UAB football and simply ignore it.  Others are often quite vocal about their desire to see UAB’s program die and go to football hell.

For those in the latter camp, autonomy for the Power 5 football schools could give them their wish.  Recently, the University of Hawaii’s athletic director, Ben Jay, said Hawaii may not be able to afford to play football in the future.

Empty seats at Legion Field are the norm at UAB football games

Empty seats at Legion Field are the norm at UAB football games

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/24666953/ad-deficit-may-cause-hawaii-to-drop-football

If Hawaii can’t afford a football program, how could others, like UAB?  The folks who believe UAB should scrap its football program often cite lack of revenue and poor attendance.  Others probably don’t care much about the financial issues.

There are some people who will always hate UAB athletics because of a 20th century squabble between former UAB basketball coach and AD Gene Bartow and former Alabama basketball coach Wimp Sanderson.  This incident (or incidents) led Bartow to write an angry letter to the NCAA accusing the Alabama program of cheating in recruiting.  The accusation did not sit well with fans of the Crimson Tide, or then athletic director Paul “Bear” Bryant.

That old feud is moot in the 21st century.  However, the future of Hawaii, UAB, and other football playing schools outside the Power 5, will most certainly be affected by whatever transpires in this new age of Division I football.  Schools like UAB, and Troy, depend on money games against Power 5 schools.

The Blazers will play road games against Mississippi State and Arkansas this year.  UAB has played at Tennessee, Nebraska, Ohio State and LSU in the past.  The Duke Blue Devils will visit Troy on September 6 this year, and the Trojans have a date with Georgia, in Athens, on September 20.  Troy has also played many games in past seasons against SEC schools and other Power 5 schools.

If the Power 5 were to only schedule games against other Power 5 schools, the “money” games will evaporate for the likes of UAB, Troy, South Alabama and others.

I’ve always believed UAB deserves to have a football program, as much as Jacksonville State, UNA, Miles, Alabama A&M, Huntington College, or any other Alabama university.   And the “big guys” have a vested interest in keeping the “little guys” around.

The Power 5 conferences probably don’t want to lose the option to play “cupcake” games for homecoming, or to pad the win-loss record.  It will be interesting to see if the “autonomy bomb” will vaporize schools on the outside of the Power 5, and if anybody outside of die-hard fans of “the little guys” will care.

 

 

How will "autonomy" shape the future of schools like UAB and Troy?

How will “autonomy” shape the future of schools like UAB and Troy?

13 Responses to “To be, or not UAB. Could ‘autonomy’ kill the Blazers?” Subscribe

  1. ITK August 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    UAB still plays football?

    Really, I’m asking. They do?

    • Hunter Ford August 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      ITK:

      UAB still as a team, and what that team has done the past few years can be loosely defined as “playing football.”

      I personally would miss Hawaii if its program went away. The old “Rainbow Warriors,” with the time difference, could be seen live on TV late at night, so there was some extra college football to watch. Used to watch Oregon teams like that too before the days of the crazy uniforms.

  2. crimson hammah August 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    dang if i lived far away and came back for homecoming i would not want no dang cupcake

  3. finebammer August 23, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    “There are some people who will always hate UAB athletics because of a 20th century squabble between former UAB basketball coach and AD Gene Bartow and former Alabama basketball coach Wimp Sanderson. This incident (or incidents) led Bartow to write an angry letter to the NCAA accusing the Alabama program of cheating in recruiting. The accusation did not sit well with fans of the Crimson Tide, or then athletic director Paul “Bear” Bryant.”

    really dude. if you are going to try and speak authoritatively on the subject, you need to, at the very least, try and have your facts straight.

    (this is what makes me an invaluable asset to this site)

    knowing your bias, i’ll not torture you by recounting the dishonest beginnings of alabama/b’ham athletics. but to the quote above specifically, the problem I (and most other proper Alabama fans who have accurate knowledge of the topic) had with the sniveling, chickenshit letter bartow penned to the NCAA was the fact that Coach Bryant had been DEAD at least 2 years at the time bartow wrote it.

    there’s no way you or any other ala/b’ham apologist would know Coach Bryant’s feelings on the matter, and let’s be perfectly clear on what the matter was: bartow got pissed because Coach Sanderson beat him out on a recruit, Buck Johnson, he thought he had locked up. bartow then wrote the NCAA accusing Coach Sanderson of being a cheat in the tradition of Coach Bryant.

    what were Coach Bryant’s feeling on the matter Hunter??? well, we’ll never fucking know that, he was dead. Buried in Elmwood Cemetery. UNABLE TO DEFEND HIMSELF.

    here’s the deal on bartow. he didn’t like pressure. didn’t like competition. it’s why he left UCLA for b’ham. he got here and thought it was gonna be smooth sailing. only problem for him was Coach Sanderson wasn’t about to allow the carpetbagger to come in and rule the roost without a fight. and bartow didn’t want to fight. he’d rather write letters accusing people unable to defend themselves of cheating.

    so yeah. i don’t like him or ala/b’ham athletics. because i know at their core, they’re antagonistic to tuscaloosa.

    kinda like auburn. no wait…….

    EXACTLY like auburn.

    THE University of Alabama has already built two programs in this state.

    if ala/b’ham needs money, if they want a big time program, if they want ANY program, go to your alumni, hunter.

    see how far that gets you.

  4. Hunter Ford August 25, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Finebammer:

    Thanks for your feedback. Good stuff. I have included a link to an article from the LA Times for your consideration.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1993-08-05/sports/sp-20797_1_gene-bartow

    I have heard many accounts (from reliable and prominent sources) over the years that Coach Bryant was miffed about the way UAB athletics came about. You allude to that when you say “I’ll not torture you by recounting the dishonest beginnings” of UAB athletics.

    According to my sources, Bryant felt he deserved to be consulted when a university in the same system was going to make a move that might impact his program. Believe me, I have heard a lot from both sides of the feud.

    In attempting to summarize a long, long, story, I failed to clarify the timeline of “the letter” in relation to Coach Bryant. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Coach Bryant was aware of what was going on at UAB in the early years and was not happy about the way things transpired… I’m confident of that.

    That was a 20th century story…here in the 21st century, many schools, like Hawaii, may struggle to find a place in the “new order” of big-time college football.
    I’m wondering where UAB, Troy, South Alabama and others will fit in that order…if they fit at all.

    • finebammer August 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

      to the topic of lesser programs and their eventual outcomes, i’d say their fates have been set by cocksure, arrogant bastards like tom yeager (recall alabama “looking down the barrel of a loaded gun”) lording their power the ncaa gave them over the big time athletic programs over the years.

      folks like yeager had an axe to grind against the big boys and didn’t hide it.

      scholarship reductions.

      arcane and devastating sanctions.

      the kind of due process you’d expect in north korea.

      yep, they’ve brought this on themselves.

      own it.

  5. Hunter Ford August 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    If anybody wants to check my oil… cheese and crackers are my favorite snack……….

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