Saturday, December 6, 2014

Note On UAB and Conference USA

With UAB dropping football in a most ridiculous way this week, one has to note what that means for UAB in the conference, and the future of how football will look in the conference without them.
For one, I am appalled like most others at the events that unfolded this week. UAB was just turning a corner, and this was obviously a grudge fueled situation between Birmingham and a group led by Paul Bryant, Jr., a man that only holds his status because of who his father was. Nobody can tell me any differently.
With UAB out of the football business, that left a hole on CUSA. That hole is immediately filled by Charlotte, who will officially join FBS and CUSA in a transitionary position next fall. The numbers won't change a bit. However, as far as overall membership is concerned for the Blazers, it's ambiguous at best. The reality is that CUSA will not support UAB athletics remaining a member for much longer without football. That's just a stark reality.
CUSA is a football driven league that no longer holds any kind of real basketball power in the national landscape, despite the fact that it was created as a basketball power league back in the day. That being the case, UAB will be forced to find another conference home, and do so shortly.
One last note...UAB was one of 26 Group of Five schools that was running a deficit. UNLV was the worst of the bunch by far, running a deficit of $35.3 million. UAB was squarely in the middle of that pack with a deficit running just over $18 million. UNLV still has football and is actively accepting and recruiting donors. UAB turned away every cent that was offered for football, and did so despicably and publicly at every turn. UNLV still has football with almost double the deficit, and UAB is out of business. The math simply does not make sense at the end of the day. Of course we could always blame Title IX, but the reality here is that the Alabama Board of Regents, or Ship of Fools, held a grudge, and only wanted their football power money heading towards Tuscaloosa, and there was no more room to supplement UAB in any way, because hey, they had to support the big boy and overall winner, right? Maybe by cutting Nick Saban's over bloated $7 million salary into a more manageable half, you could have cut that deficit down to $15 million, with the rest of the cash coming in from those donors I mentioned. Realistically, I don't care how many titles you win, $7 million is just too much to pay any college coach in any sport, anywhere.

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