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UAB Spring Game Week: Why Are Heads Not Rolling In Birmingham?

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We continue our run-up to the spring game by talking to some of UAB football's most fervent supporters about what they think is really going on in Birmingham.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Where I come from (aka Up North), a situation like this where administrators pretty clearly did something between "selectively truthful" and "boldfaced lie" when it comes to justifying a major decision like this, they would face something in between "guaranteed to not be re-elected/re-appointed" and "fired on the spot to save face."

Underdog Dynasty - How has that not happened here? Perhaps the former is true and we just don't know it/ can't enact it yet, but the latter seems applicable for at least a few of the people in this chain of command failure.

Greg Owen - As the members of The Board of Trustees and the Chancellor have said publicly, they are 100% behind Ray Watts' decision to eliminate football, fully support him, and believe he is doing a great job.  I attended the Board of Trustees meeting on February 6th.  UAB Faculty Senate President Chad Epps and USGA President Anjali Wagle delivered speeches to the board at the meeting.

The speeches talked of the divisiveness, and hostile environment created by Ray Watts' decision.  After the speeches were delivered, members of The Board immediately changed the subject, and said that UAB spends too much money on athletics.  The Board completely ignored everything they said.

The members of The Board are the only people who can remove Ray Watts.  It does not matter to The Board that the alumni, undergrad students, grad students, employees, and supporters of UAB are infuriated with the decision to end football.  So Watts will remain the president, unless the state legislators are able to add representation to The Board, restructure The Board, or remove UAB from the UA System.

Albert Turner - This is their Last Stand, so to speak.  They will stop at nothing to do what they are attempting to do - destroy UAB - because they know this is it.

Ralph Harbison  - It has not happened here because Paul Bryant Jr and the Board wanted him to do that. Think about it: right after the no confidence votes, the Board and Chancellor issued a statement that they support Watts 100%.

In anything close to this in any other area - business, academics, government - you would get the "we will appoint a committee to study exactly what happened here and appropriate changes will be made," and/r he would be kicked out on his fat butt right then. I would have expected the Board to at least suspend him until they could discover "exactly what happened," just to save face, but they did not care at all.

Melissa Brown of AL.com mentioned on Twitter at one point that over the past four years, she has turned in countless FOIA requests for emails and the like from the Board of Trustees, and she has always been told that they have no emails or other correspondence to share.

How can a $4 billion state agency have no written correspondence within its governing board? Other reporters have stated the same. Curt has several newspaper articles about the Board violating the sunshine laws and bragging about it.

As with the rest of this series, thank you to all who participated, your input was vital to making the content happen.