UAB president reflects on football decision

Dr. Ray Watts, president of UAB, speaks to the media following his State of the University address.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Dr. Ray Watts, president of UAB, gave his State of the University speech Wednesday and announced that school is having its best year ever in several areas.

The school’s football team is having a surprisingly strong year, as well. The Blazers returned to the field this year after a two-season absence. They’re 3-2 so far including a thrilling homecoming win last week that featured a blocked field goal in the final seconds to preserve the victory. Fans have shown up in large numbers to support the team.

CBS 42 asked Watts if he regrets the decision to cut the program.

“Well, I regret what we all went through,” he said. “But at the time, that was the most responsible decision. What it did was it gave the opportunity then for our constituents and our community to say this is really valuable to us and we will support it. And when I saw the breadth and the depth of that support, I took the risk of saying we’re going to bring it back.”

Watts said he’s not surprised by the support the community and fans have shown the program since its return. He believes the team will have a winning season, which many would not have expected after two seasons without a team.

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