BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Will UAB continue to play football games beyond the 2016 football season? Recently, some alumni began investigating that very question after discovering the school hasn’t scheduled a non-conference game beyond 2016. It started with former UAB football players and now a current band member has started an online petition to keep the football program.
The petition is asking UAB President, Dr. Ray Watts, to: immediately announce the football program will not be dropped, negotiate a contract extension for Coach Bill Clark, to start scheduling games beyond 2016, and to accept donations from the city of Birmingham and others to improve the football program. Last week Dr. Watts confirmed that the athletic department is looking at its investments in football but that review is not complete. He says “It would be counterproductive and inappropriate to speculate on outcomes based on an incomplete process, not just related to athletics, but across the campus.”
After UAB’s football game on Saturday, Coach Bill Clark said that speculation about the future has been distracting for his players, but the outcry to keep the program has been encouraging, “I really think it’s been great to see our former players, our city, our students, and all these people rally around us, and I think they see that. Now maybe there were other distractions but I think they also saw love.”
Coach Clark says he doesn’t have any information on the future of the program, only saying his team has big goals. He wouldn’t have come for a program that wasn’t going to exist in a few years.
As for the petition, it has nearly 900 signatures at this time. The goal is to get 10,000. You can find the petition by clicking here.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News