Former UAB football players, fans concerned about program’s future

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Just weeks after a new foundation sprouted up to support the UAB football program, some of its biggest fans are concerned about the program’s existence. Former UAB football players are sounding the alarm about worries that the program will disappear.

Former UAB safety Justin Craft and other former UAB football players voiced their concerns in a letter addressed to UAB president Ray Watts.

“Frankly, as a former player and we’re all former players — it just didn’t add up that we’re not scheduling games past 2016, that coach does not have a contract extension,” said Justin Craft “He only has a three-year contract, which is unheard of in Division 1 football, and the fact that we’re not being welcomed by UAB as a foundation to come in and improve these facilities.

Craft says the timing couldn’t be worse.

“It’s the first time in 10 or 11 years that they’ve really had a chance because of the leadership and vision of Coach Clark and just the unbelievable work ethic of this team,” Craft added.

The question remains, what would UAB be like with no football team?

“I don’t think it would make as many people want to come honestly,” said UAB student Amber Gable.

“I’ve had concerns in the past with, budget wise and if the amount of money they’re making from it is like really that good for the school,” added student Jeff Kubler.

Watts responded to WIAT 42’s questions about the UAB football program’s future with a statement. He says the investments in football are being reviewed as part of the campus-wide strategic planning process that is not complete

“It would be counterproductive and inappropriate to speculate on outcomes based on an incomplete process – not just related to athletics, but across the campus,” Watts said.

Watts also says they welcome input from fans – but says rumors will be distracting to coaches and players who have big games ahead.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News


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