New report says 3 cut UAB athletic programs make the school money

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new report is calling out UAB, saying the school’s decision to cut three athletic programs based on dollars makes no sense.

It’s all spelled out in more than 150 pages of data, but the most impactful words are written in bold letters:

“The decision to terminate football, bowling and rifle was ill advised from a net cash flow perspective.”

First, some background: UAB leaders have already said they won’t pay for OSKR to review the financials of its athletics program, due to concern about a possible bias. So, UAB boosters paid for the review instead.

“Sometimes you have to understand the definition of ‘bias.’ I think that it’s 156 pages that is backed up by data and research, done in the public eye, understanding that there will be tremendous scrutiny of the report,” said Craft.

A former UAB football player and current financial advisor Justin Craft has been a vocal leader in trying to Bring Back Blazers Football.

“I think that the data points really speak for themselves for anyone with a financial background that digs into it,” said Craft.

The report crunched factors it said are often overlooked by college athletic accounting departments, arguing college sports directly impacts donations, merchandise sales, and enrollment. It  also argues that common accounting practices drastically over-estimate the cost of providing scholarships and stipends to athletes.

When all is said and done, the report concludes that combined the football, bowling and rifle teams actually made $75,000 for UAB in 2013.

The report points out that without a football program UAB will lose $2.4 million a year, just from losing membership in conference U.S.A.

“I hope that Dr. Watts and the administration can give us a fair answer into what their intentions are,” said Craft.

UAB did not respond to WIAT’s requests for comment.

An additional third party review paid for by UAB is due out next month.

Follow the link at the bottom of this page for the full report.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

UAB report

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