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CarrSports Report Shines Interesting Light On UAB Football Termination Decision

And the hits just keep on coming from the internet, whose informative searching keeps revealing more and more how much of a knee-jerk reaction it is to cut the football program.

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Being the fearless leaders of this site, Matt and I decided to actually take a good look at the report that CarrSports Consulting generated for the UAB Blazers administration as part of their comprehensive strategic plan for the university. I don't know about Matt, but it definitely has me more perplexed than I was before I read it.

First and foremost, the opening paragraph of the report already has me skeptical (emphasis mine).

Now in its 36th year, University of Alabama at Birmingham Athletics (UAB Athletics) sponsors 18 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. UAB Football competes at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level in Conference USA, which requires a sustained investment from the University and UAB Athletics’ generated revenues – for all UAB sports. Budget challenges at the state and federal levels require the University to examine and prioritize its current and future resource allocations. Therefore, in accordance with the University’s new Strategic Plan, UAB Athletics’ strategic planning includes a rigorous evaluation of its appropriate NCAA Division I classification and sports sponsorship - including the possible elimination of Football, UAB’s most resource intensive sport.

Here you have it folks. UAB said they were conducting a comprehensive review of the university's overall strategic plan. The arm of that review that took a look at the athletics department happened to be spearheaded by the CarrSports report, and that report just so happens to expressly mention the football program and it's financial burden twice in the first paragraph.

Surely this is purely a random coincidence. Right Matt?

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Absolutely - I mean, first you have this interesting piece of back story involving Mack Brown's brother Watson:

Brown, now the head coach at Tennessee Tech, was UAB's coach back in 2002, when the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees charged the Blazers with reducing a $7.6 million athletic department budget deficit within three years or its football program would be dismantled then. Brown, who had transitioned the Blazers' football program to Division I-A status in 1996, added the athletic director's title to his duties around that time and found the burden for saving the program squarely upon his own shoulders.

So there is actually a precedent for the squeeze being put on the UAB football program for budgetary reasons. But at least that time they were given an opportunity to help themselves. And now, take look at this little doozy from the end of the report (emphasis mine):

UAB Athletics’ strategic planning and preparations for a complementary facility master plan have identified approximately $49 million in capital projects to enhance student-athlete well-being and competitiveness in CUSA. These initiatives include among others, a Men's and Women's Soccer stadium and support services facility, major improvements for Baseball and Softball, as well as a new OutdoorTrack complex.

What? They have $49 million in prospective cap projects with no major sport to drive revenue? I want to see what happens when they ask the city to help foot the bill, because especially that soccer stadium isn't going to be cheap. Donations will plummet after this. If they think they'll get by on subsidies, they're nuts.

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I'm right there with you, Matt. I have never been a school administrator, but here is something that I do know. Regardless of exactly how much revenue, you generally have two sports (football and men's basketball) that generate enough revenue that you could call the amount "substantial." Completely eliminating one of those two sports will not help you with your other athletics-based capital projects. Though it does perhaps help this other bit of news make a little bit more sense.