UAB athletic director Mark Ingram gave positive news to Blazer supporters on Thursday morning, updating fans on donation payments, the UAB Athletics Foundation, and the return of the football program.
A goal of raising $4.5 million by January 15, 2016, has been set for the Blazer faithful to reach. If the past is any indication, this should not be a problem. The community raised $2 million by September 1 after that goal had been advanced by two weeks. The mark currently rests at $2.7 million, giving Birmingham over two months to raise the remaining $1.8 million. Sounds like a piece of cake after what has already been accomplished over the last 11 months.
"We couldn't be more grateful to all of our generous donors and fans who are stepping up and making this happen," Ingram said in the letter.
Ingram also addressed the newly formed UAB Athletics Foundation, which is similar to the Crimson Tide Foundation at Alabama and Tigers Unlimited at Auburn. The foundation will assist UAB's athletics programs and help in their sustaining as well. This was a process in the works from several months, and came to fruition earlier this week.
"Each of the members of its Board of Directors are fully committed to helping us reach our goals and further develop relationships in the community," he said, although not many people are naive enough to believe that with people like UAB president Ray Watts, University of Alabama system chancellor Robert Witt, and trustees Johnny Johns and Finis St. John on that board.
The foundation, however, is a great step for UAB.
UAB's AD also lauded the efforts of football coach Bill Clark, whose tremendous efforts in rebuilding the roster have not been lost on anyone, and rightfully so.
"Coach Clark and his staff are doing an outstanding job in recruiting and are bringing future Blazer recruits to campus on their official visits," he said.
He also confirmed what had been suspected. The football program expects to sign 15 players in December as part of the midyear signing period, and will be allowed to sign 30 new student-athletes in February (as opposed to the standard 25 players).
"All of our success is a credit to you, our fans and donors, who have been so supportive. We look forward to seeing you at our games in the weeks and months ahead," Ingram said.