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UAB President Ray Watts Gets Standing Ovation During Speech

Just not the kind he might've wanted.

Last month, after the UAB faculty senate joined its student counterparts in issuing a vote of no confidence in Ray Watts, I wondered how he could continue in the job from a practical standpoint despite the nonbinding nature of the resolutions.

Case in point: Last week, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees met on the UAB campus. Here's an excerpt from President Watts' appearance:

In case you didn't notice, Watts is standing at the far end of the room from the camera. The friendly sign holders are facing away from him during the speech, snickering like a group of mischievous kids at the back of the class.

Again, the power rests with the BOT, but I'm guessing this isn't what most people think of when it comes to sustainable leadership situations.

Elsewhere, #freeUAB doesn't appear to be getting quieter.

Exhibit A:

Not only that, despite initially whiffing on the story, the national media seems to be catching up on the doings over in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

Exhibit B, from no less than the New York Times:

In the turbulent weeks since the University of Alabama at Birmingham announced that it would shutter its Division I football program, rallies and protests have erupted on campus, powerful donors have threatened to withhold their support, and the faculty senate approved a resolution of no confidence in President Ray L. Watts's ability to lead the university.

The message was delivered: Football is a serious matter in Alabama. And up against a wave of opposition, Watts and U.A.B. have cracked open the door for a potential reinstatement of the football program in 2016.

Bravo y'all. Oh, and #freeUAB.