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Statement from Past USGA Presidents
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hooverblazer Offline
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Post: #1
Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Statement from past Undergraduate Student Government Association Presidents:

We, the past presidents of the Undergraduate Student Government Association at UAB, are deeply saddened by President Ray Watts’s recent decision to terminate UAB’s football, rifle, and bowling teams without input from students, alumni, faculty, or donors. As leaders of the student body, we have always fought for the concerns of the students. It was, and still remains, our duty to speak out on behalf of the student
body, and to voice our concerns on major decisions affecting the university.

We are extremely disappointed in how this situation was handled by President Watts. The decision ending UAB’s football, rifle, and bowling teams misses a very vital component: student input and feedback. The students, alumni, faculty, donors, and even university administrators, were never consulted prior to President Watts making his decision. The vision of this university is to have a thriving institution that attracts a diverse group of students with varying interests. Our excellent academic institution exists because of the students who attend. These are the same students who make tough decisions and sacrifices to attend this great university and whose tuition dollars compensate salaries, fund campus enhancements and substantially contribute to the Athletic Department’s operations. Students are the very reason why UAB exists. The failure to consult the student body, in addition to alumni, faculty, and donors, prior to making such a drastic decision to remove athletic
programs is inexcusable and shameful.

It is particularly disturbing that considering the amount of student fees earmarked for the Athletic Department, the Undergraduate Student Government Association was not included in the decision-making process. President Watts’ decision is reshaping an important piece of the undergraduate college experience at a time when Coach Bill Clark and his staff have demonstrated the potential of UAB football, even with substandard facilities and lackluster support. The recently released summary of the report from CarrSports Consulting is also questionable because it strictly focuses on terminating the football program without analyzing any other options. The CarrSports report summary contains numerous assumptions that fail to consider how investment in UAB’s football program would payoff in alumni support, increased donations, and regularly competitive football teams as they would finally have facilities to place them on an equal playing field with fellow Conference USA members. Finally, most urban universities are starting football programs because of the long-term benefits of this investment. Additionally, the loss of Conference USA membership will have a severe financial impact on UAB Athletics and could lead to the dismantling of our strong athletic programs. However, this was not addressed by the CarrSports report summary.

Besides the troubling aspects of failing to consult with the student body is the equally troubling fact that despite numerous attempts, alumni, donors, faculty, the City of Birmingham, and Jefferson County Commission were not informed nor consulted with the possibility of the termination of several of UAB’s athletic programs. This lack of communication and the sudden announcement terminating the football, rifle, and bowling teams have generated uncertainty and distrust. If the ending of several athletic programs is accomplished without consulting UAB’s stakeholders, then what other decisions affecting undergraduates will be made
unilaterally and without consensus?

UAB’s stakeholders are currently being left in the dark and met with hostility as this administration has chosen to characterize some of UAB’s donors as making “false statements” in a recent statement posted on UAB’s website. Furthermore, on the eve of an important Faculty Senate meeting, President Watts met with Senate members behind closed-doors. Leadership does not occur behind a website statement, closed-door meetings, or unilateral decisions to alter the shape of UAB’s athletic programs. Leadership requires service. Leadership requires consulting with those whom one serves prior to making decisions impacting all. Leadership requires the ability to admit one’s wrong, and to vigorously work in rectifying one’s mistakes.

We chose UAB for several reasons—and we agree that the relentless spirit of unity, community, and blazing new trails in academics and athletics attracted us to UAB. We served our student body as leaders because we have faith in our university and the vision for what it is, and can become. Our first president, Dr. Joseph Volker, accurately and succinctly summarized that vision when he stated “We would do Birmingham a great disservice if we dream too little dreams.” Recently, that vision was completely ignored and decisions were made unilaterally that could ruin the legacy and future of UAB and the community. It is disgraceful to think that our president has lost sight of the vision that many leaders before him made possible. President Watts, instead of offering support and consulting UAB students, alumni, faculty, donors, and the community for assistance, decided to terminate programs
that were on a positive trajectory and held so much promise.

Because of the above reasons, we, the past presidents of the UAB undergraduate student government, have lost faith in the ability of President Watts to lead, given the manner in which he made this decision. As a result, we demand President Watts’ resignation effective immediately. Sadly, the administration has alienated the student body, alumni, faculty, donors, and Birmingham community. We applaud the Faculty Senate’s demonstration of leadership in its December meeting and its current course of action. UAB's stakeholders must be included in all decisions regarding major institutional changes—including such a sweeping decision to dissolve the football, rifle, and bowling teams. Given the exclusionary process by which President Watts made his decision, we also demand that the football, rifle, and bowling teams be reinstated effective immediately.

We have a burning desire to ensure that UAB succeeds. We cannot support a president who excludes the most important people from the decision-making table. Likewise, we cannot support a strategic decision whose process lacked communication and transparency. UAB deserves better, and, as student leaders, we will always fight to ensure that UAB never dreams too little dreams.

Sincerely,

Andrew Hayes 2013-2014
Adrian Jones 2012-2013
Hernandez Stroud, M.S.Ed, J.D. (’15) 2009-2010
Brittney A. Williams, M.D. 2007-2009
Andrew Brashier, J.D. 2006-2007
Jarvis Escott 2001-2002
Norris Davis, Jr. 1997-1998
Orlanda Thomas 1996-1997
Wyndall Ivey, J.D. 1995-1996
Vincent Curtis 1994-1995
Bruce Taylor, M.D. 1993-1994
Tara Y. White, Ph.D. 1992-1993
Brian Oakes, J.D. 1991-1992

cc:
President Ray Watts
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell
Mayor William Bell
Birmingham City Council
University of Alabama System Board of Trustees
UAB Faculty Senate
Jefferson County Commission
Al.com
WELD Birmingham
12-16-2014 11:32 AM
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BlazerRob Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Wow! Well stated.
12-16-2014 11:39 AM
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CourtsideBlazer Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
that is powerful...skip the "no-confidence" vote and just go straight for the "Watts resign NOW"

I like it. This should get the media interested. Lots of letters after those names. (only 1 is a Jr.)
12-16-2014 11:39 AM
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KSUBlazer Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Epic Applause
12-16-2014 11:39 AM
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KevMo4UAB Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
YES!
12-16-2014 11:52 AM
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blazerball25 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Immediate resignation? I can dig it, but ain't no way in hell it happens.
12-16-2014 11:54 AM
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demiveeman Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
One significant USGA President missing from this letter.

[Image: 10218448-large.jpg]

05-stirthepot
12-16-2014 12:05 PM
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Smaug Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
(12-16-2014 11:54 AM)blazerball25 Wrote:  Immediate resignation? I can dig it, but ain't no way in hell it happens.

Nevertheless, the drumbeat continues to increase in volume.
12-16-2014 12:07 PM
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ATTALLABLAZE Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Spread this on twitter and facebook.
12-16-2014 12:23 PM
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BlazerFire Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Boom! A right cross to the jaw!

Down goes Watts! Down goes Watts!

If the guy had any decency and self respect, he'd try to right the wrong and resign. Then again, he's just a puppet on strings held by Lil Bear.

C'mon Watts, leave.
12-16-2014 12:47 PM
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demiveeman Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
(12-16-2014 12:47 PM)BlazerFire Wrote:  Boom! A right cross to the jaw!

Down goes Watts! Down goes Watts!

If the guy had any decency and self respect, he'd try to right the wrong and resign. Then again, he's just a puppet on strings held by Lil Bear.

C'mon Watts, leave.

Ray Watts is not a puppet.
12-16-2014 12:59 PM
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the Dragon Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
(12-16-2014 12:59 PM)demiveeman Wrote:  
(12-16-2014 12:47 PM)BlazerFire Wrote:  Boom! A right cross to the jaw!

Down goes Watts! Down goes Watts!

If the guy had any decency and self respect, he'd try to right the wrong and resign. Then again, he's just a puppet on strings held by Lil Bear.

C'mon Watts, leave.

Ray Watts is not a puppet.

A co-conspirator I'd say.
12-16-2014 02:12 PM
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CourtsideBlazer Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
representatives from this group will be on Fox 6 "Good Day Alabama" on Friday morning @ 7:10
12-17-2014 06:35 PM
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Blazer_pidelta517 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
(12-16-2014 12:05 PM)demiveeman Wrote:  One significant USGA President missing from this letter.

[Image: 10218448-large.jpg]

05-stirthepot

He's at law school in Tuscaloosa now. No doubt he's worn out his his knee pads. I hope in a few years this gets dug back up if he ever tries to run for something.

EDIT: This is the sort of thing that pisses me off. The guy represented us for two terms! What a self-serving ****.
(This post was last modified: 12-18-2014 01:22 AM by Blazer_pidelta517.)
12-18-2014 01:12 AM
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Marathon Blazer Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
(12-18-2014 01:12 AM)Blazer_pidelta517 Wrote:  
(12-16-2014 12:05 PM)demiveeman Wrote:  One significant USGA President missing from this letter.

[Image: 10218448-large.jpg]

05-stirthepot

He's at law school in Tuscaloosa now. No doubt he's worn out his his knee pads. I hope in a few years this gets dug back up if he ever tries to run for something.

EDIT: This is the sort of thing that pisses me off. The guy represented us for two terms! What a self-serving ****.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't his last name Watts?
12-18-2014 08:53 AM
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ThankUBasedQuad Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Statement from Past USGA Presidents
Oh come on guys, don't read into that anymore than you should. Brad fought during his presidency, I'm sure he just didn't respond in time and they wanted to get the letter out. A lot of those guys are friends and previously connected:

Andrew Hayes and Adrian Jones are friends. Orlanda Thomas, Ivey, and Curtis are also Adrian's fraternity brothers, and they have their own friendships with a few other presidents.

Let's relax on calling anyone a traitor just because he's in law school at UA and his name wasn't on the form.
12-18-2014 10:57 AM
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