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Smaug Offline
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Coastal Chatter
09-02-2018 12:08 AM
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Iron City Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
[Image: 40678028_1465533903550254_47506141959747...e=5C2E544F]

The Official UAB v Coastal Carolina Watch Party is in The Grill at Iron City this Saturday! See you there!
09-04-2018 12:16 PM
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GoBlazers468 Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
Offline coastie420
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I found this to be interesting. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to post a picture


Re: vs. UAB
« Reply #34 on: Today at 02:02:08 AM »
Quote from: CCUotter on September 04, 2018, 03:12:02 PM
I won't look it up but wasn't it UAB that cancelled their football team only to revive it a few years later?

I had forgotten about that. They apparently had zero fans going to games. I think once the school went through with their threat of removing football from the uab athletic department, there was obviously a lot of push back.

Maybe we can get them to shut it down again. Destroy them, and send them home deflated and demoralized. Our preseason is over, the real season starts this weekend. (Think positive thoughts, self. Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts. Serenity now.)

Fun fact: UAB nearly hired Jimbo Fisher in 2006 as HC, but their BoT didn't want him
09-05-2018 10:16 AM
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RE: Coastal Chatter
(09-05-2018 10:16 AM)GoBlazers468 Wrote:  Offline coastie420
Posts: 1642
I found this to be interesting. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to post a picture


Re: vs. UAB
« Reply #34 on: Today at 02:02:08 AM »
Quote from: CCUotter on September 04, 2018, 03:12:02 PM
I won't look it up but wasn't it UAB that cancelled their football team only to revive it a few years later?

I had forgotten about that. They apparently had zero fans going to games. I think once the school went through with their threat of removing football from the uab athletic department, there was obviously a lot of push back.

Maybe we can get them to shut it down again. Destroy them, and send them home deflated and demoralized. Our preseason is over, the real season starts this weekend. (Think positive thoughts, self. Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts. Serenity now.)

Fun fact: UAB nearly hired Jimbo Fisher in 2006 as HC, but their BoT didn't want him


The mis-information lives on !
09-05-2018 12:07 PM
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the_blazerman Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
Which was the goal of Watts & the BOT.
09-05-2018 12:20 PM
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ATTALLABLAZE Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Coastal Chatter
That thread Escalated quickly
09-05-2018 07:56 PM
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Smaug Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
Lord, how we churn up existential angst among our opponents.
09-05-2018 08:49 PM
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58-56 Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
Wow. They think a DJ would improve attendance. Could we give them Raita? Please?
09-05-2018 09:15 PM
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UABslant Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
Just read that thread... how sweet. It sounds a lot like us when we were that age.

Also, did every single one of their fans forget they played us last season? Because it sounds like they forgot.
(This post was last modified: 09-05-2018 09:18 PM by UABslant.)
09-05-2018 09:16 PM
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thebernreuter Offline
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RE: Coastal Chatter
They're feisty because there are 11 D-I football teams in that city. They have to turn it up to 11 all the time to get what they can. It must be exhausting.
09-06-2018 02:25 AM
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Pavy78 Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Coastal Chatter
(09-06-2018 02:25 AM)thebernreuter Wrote:  They're feisty because there are 11 D-I football teams in that city. They have to turn it up to 11 all the time to get what they can. It must be exhausting.

There are 11 D1 football teams in Conway, SC???
09-06-2018 07:22 AM
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RE: Coastal Chatter
(09-06-2018 07:22 AM)Pavy78 Wrote:  
(09-06-2018 02:25 AM)thebernreuter Wrote:  They're feisty because there are 11 D-I football teams in that city. They have to turn it up to 11 all the time to get what they can. It must be exhausting.

There are 11 D1 football teams in Conway, SC???

It's a city sized TARDIS
09-06-2018 08:38 AM
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the_blazerman Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Coastal Chatter
I find it funny when they mentioned UAB shut down due to fans not showing up and in the same breath they mention possibly having a bottom level attendance of 5000.
09-06-2018 09:25 AM
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RE: Coastal Chatter
And one excellent Summation from Legal Blazer. :


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Re: vs. UAB

« Reply #109 on: Today at 09:20:17 AM »


Quote from: coastie420 on September 05, 2018, 02:02:08 AM

Quote from: CCUotter on September 04, 2018, 03:12:02 PM

I won't look it up but wasn't it UAB that cancelled their football team only to revive it a few years later?

I had forgotten about that. They apparently had zero fans going to games. I think once the school went through with their threat of removing football from the uab athletic department, there was obviously a lot of push back.

Maybe we can get them to shut it down again. Destroy them, and send them home deflated and demoralized. Our preseason is over, the real season starts this weekend. (Think positive thoughts, self. Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts. Serenity now.)

Fun fact: UAB nearly hired Jimbo Fisher in 2006 as HC, but their BoT didn't want him.



I came here to address this post and set the record straight on some things written above that are simply incorrect.

The football program was discontinued through a unilateral decision made by a 2nd year university president. No consultation or warning was given. Even the school's biggest boosters were blindsided - well not completely. We all figured it out about half way through the season when UAB was not scheduling games for upcoming seasons and the contract with Legion Field was expiring with no discussions to renew it.

A bit of background is in order...
UAB's athletic program was started in the late 1970's when UAB hired Gene Bartow away from UCLA. This was pretty big news at the time. Imagine a school with no athletic program hiring away a marquee coach from a BCS school. Bartow started a basketball program and within the decade had taken his UAB team to the Elite 8 - again, quite extraordinary.

The University of Alabama system comprises 3 schools - the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), UAB, and UAH (Huntsville). The same system board controls the finances for all three. That board self-appoints its own successors with little to no oversight by the state government - yet they control a huge budget - over 4 billion dollars.

Here is a quote from the Tuscaloosa News about the 2018 fiscal year budget...


Quote

The fiscal year 2018 operating budget for the University of Alabama is $1 billion. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s operating budget is $1.27 billion. The UAB hospital budget is $1.63 billion. The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s operating budget is $233.4 million. The system office budget is $20.4 million.




See what they did there? Splitting the money in Birmingham into two instead of reporting it as $2.9 billion and then breaking that down? University operations in Birmingham account for over half of the system revenue and are about 3 times Tuscaloosa's. In the state of Alabama this is not widely acknowledged or accepted, but that is factual.

UAB did not exist as an autonomous campus until 1969, and now it represents the golden goose for the university. It grew so quickly that many in the old guard became concerned. In fact, one wealthy businessman financed a gubernatorial campaign for a candidate running on a platform of moving influence back to Tuscaloosa with ads that read:



Quote

Bill Baxley Won't Let The University Become U.A.T. JOIN BILL BAXLEY - TAKE A STAND For The Univerity of Alabama and Tuscaloosa VOTE BILL BAXLEY FOR GOVERNOR Paid Political Adv. by Tuscaloosans Concerned For THE UNIVERSITY, Paul W. Bryant Jr. Chairman





Yes, that is Paul Bryant Jr., son of the late Alabama Head Football Coach Bear Bryant. Years later (during the shutdown of football and other precipitating events, Paul Bryant Jr. was a member of the system board of trustees and chair of the board's athletics committee.)

So, there is a power struggle between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham over the direction of the system. UAB's growth was not expected. It was the university's Birmingham commuter school annex, an outreach program, and the site of the medical school - this was not supposed to happen. Instead of embracing that growth and potential, the board later (after being stacked with influential Tuscaloosa grads and their biggest athletics booster) put the block, slow roll, or scowls of skepticism on changes that would tend to make UAB more traditional and an appealing urban alternative to Tuscaloosa.

Fast forward to the founding of UAB Football. Gene Bartow was the athletic director at UAB and a club football team was formed. Then it entered DIV 1-AA play. The NCAA passed a rule that in order to compete at a given level, all sports had to play at that level... so if the basketball program was 1A, the football program would need to be 1A as well. In 1996 the Blazer football team entered Div. 1A competition with former Vanderbilt quarterback and coach Watson Brown as the head coach (brother of Texas coach Mack Brown).

I'll skip a lot here as this post is going to be crazy long as it is, but the short version is that the team had a lot of highs and lows. E.g., UAB beat a Nick Saban coached LSU team for homecoming, and blew out Baylor at Legion Field. There were also some lows - the board of trustees publicly threatening to shut down UAB football based on budget overruns (we'll call this the first blow). Ask yourself if that is something any board would do publicly if it cared about the success of an athletics program. If that conversation happens, it happens privately. Otherwise you have made the situation worse. Opposing teams can bring that newspaper article to recruits. The recruits go elsewhere. Team performance declines. Attendance declines, etc. This was done immediately after UAB had more players taken in the first round of the NFL draft than Alabama.

It seems crazy now, but there were a few years (circa 2001-2004) where UAB might have actually had a better football team than the University of Alabama. Alabama was struggling. After Gene Stallings left, Alabama hired his assistant Mike Dubose who under-performed. He was followed by Dennis Franchione who left after finding the pressure cooker atmosphere too much. Then came Mike Price who was infamously fired before coaching a game due to an ESPN expose. He was replaced with the image saving, clean cut, very likeable, but ultimately unsuccessful Mike Shula

The Alabama football boosters were frantic. They were trying to hire an elite coach for the Tide and throwing money at people who were turning it down. Being compared to the Bear, being micromanaged by powerful boosters, etc. was all too much. Alabama wasn't seen as a good coaching job any longer. It was the end of the 2006 football season.

At the end of the 2006 season UAB head coach Watson Brown was encouraged to become the full time AD and step aside so that assistant coach Pat Sullivan - Heisman trophy winner at Auburn and former head coach at TCU. The UAB president offered Sullivan the job and he accepted. There are various stories about what happened next. The one that seems to make the most sense was (according to that story) that Sullivan had a condition - that he report directly to the president and not to the AD. When Brown found out about this, he was livid and took his complaints straight over the top - to Board of Trustees member Paul Bryant Jr. Bryant (contrary to accreditation standards if true) interceded and told the president she could not hire Sullivan. Sullivan left to coach at Samford. Brown left too.

So UAB and Alabama are both looking for head football coaches. People (e.g., Rich Rodriguez, Nick Saban) are telling Alabama no. UAB hits a homerun with its first prospect - Nick Saban protege Jimbo Fisher. Fisher was the OC at LSU when Saban won the national championship there. Alabama finally gets traction with Saban.

UAB negotiates a contract with Fisher for $600,000 a year with $350,000 of that to be paid by boosters (because everyone wanted to make sure that the BOT could not squash the hire based on fake budget concerns). UAB had a plane ready to go pick him up and then... boom (second blow) - the BOT says fisher cannot be hired because the university cannot set a precedent for paying the UAB football coach that much money - yes, they really said this. The BOT later approved a contract for Nick Saban to be the highest paid coach in college football at around $4 million a year. It's all really absurd, but it is Alabama and it is football so absurd is never called out.

It is not known what the board's actual motive was 1) hobbling UAB football, 2) keeping Fisher on the market as a potential OC for Saban, keeping Fisher on the market as a fall back position should Saban fall through... or all of the above.

Now, back to the drawing board for UAB. Normally this would mean a search committee and a national search for a head coach. Alabama isn't normal though. UAB hired Neil Callaway, an offensive line coach at UGA who had a DUI the previous year and was likely on his way out at Georgia. He was on no school's radar as a head coaching prospect. His most important qualifications seemed to be that was Paul Bryant Jr.'s hunting buddy and he played for the Bear. Neil is a great position coach, but a terrible head coach. Players have told me that his first words to the team were, "Well you didn't pick me, and I didn't choose you, but here we are." (or something to that effect). That's leadership (and that is blow #3).

The team struggled for years with Callaway, but there was a plan afoot - to build an on campus stadium and get the team out of Legion Field. If you don't know Legion Field sits in a blighted community on the west side of Birmingham. I have never had a safety concern personally because I grew up there, but if you are from the nicer parts of town, the neighborhood around it looks pretty rough. This impression keeps a lot of people out of the seats. Speaking of seats, the place had 85,000 seats - then down to 70 something thousand after the removal of the upper deck. Non-power conference teams are doing well to average 15k-20k people. So a good UAB crowd is swallowed by the size of the place - leading to jokes of no one coming to games, when that simply was not true.

The plan was put in place to build the stadium. The land was purchased, the blueprints were drawn, the head of the responsible committee of the BOT said that we are excited about this project, we want to get the final documents, look at them, and get this project started. The skyboxes were all rented out. The plan was put on the BOT's agenda for approval. On the eve of the board meeting, the stadium was pulled from the agenda, never to be voted on. Between the time the statement above was made, that committee chair was replaced with Paul Bryant Jr. This is blow #4 - and the one that fully indicates the course of long term action that the board, under Bryant's influence was on - termination of UAB football.

UAB fired Callaway (because Bryant liked him and UAB needed Bryant to vote for the stadium he was kept far longer than he should have been - he should never have been hired in the first place). Then UAB made a sef inflicted wound - hiring Garrick McGee. He looked good on paper, and it turned out he was pretty good a recruiting, but he was a terrible coach. McGee was OC for Petrino at Arkansas. When Petrino had his motorcycle accident and left for Louisville, he offered McGee his old job back and McGee took it. As he was leaving, there were some rumors that he was doing so because he knew something was afoot.

Turns out that Petrino's motorcycle accident may have been the best thing that ever happened to UAB football. There were plans being drawn to terminate football. Wall Street's best face saving PR firm was on the task of handling the potential fall out should that decision be made... and UAB's AD was hiring a new head coach who had no idea any of this was a possibility. Bill Clark left the head coaching job at his alma mater to take over the reigns at UAB (an awkward 3 year contract instead of the customary minimum 4)... little did he know that the man who shook his hand at the press conference, President Ray Watts, would eliminate his job at the end of the year.

The final blow came in December of 2014 after UAB's best season and highest attendance in a decade. President Ray Watts announced the end of UAB football. The handling of this was botched terribly. Everyone saw through the facade and saw it for what it was. Students protested, the local media lined up behind UAB, documents were unearthed (pulled out of the trash actually) proving that it had been planned since at least the beginning of the season - votes of no confidence came in for the president from all over campus...

In the end, coach Clark stuck around, the NCAA treated us well - likely because they too recognized that the biggest boosters of one of college football's most powerful programs had systematically undermined it's little sister, and we're back - maybe better than ever.

There are of course two sides to every story and proponents of the other side - most of them Alabama football fans will tell of the lightly attended games, the bleeding of money, etc., but what they are doing is attempting to apply BCS level standards to a Conference USA team. Only a handful of schools meet those standards and UAB compares quite favorably will all of its peers. Their analysis is based on drawing a budget circle around just the athletic program instead of the school as a whole (UAB isn't losing any money - it's bigger than Alabama). You could draw the same circle around the college library and show how much money it loses every year... except colleges have libraries, and good ones that want to offer a complete experience to their students in the South - have football.
09-06-2018 09:56 AM
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the_blazerman Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Coastal Chatter
Actually a good post to copy & save for later.
09-06-2018 10:15 AM
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BlazerPhil Online
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RE: Coastal Chatter
(09-06-2018 10:15 AM)the_blazerman Wrote:  Actually a good post to copy & save for later.

exactly my thinking.
09-06-2018 10:26 AM
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BAMANBLAZERFAN Online
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RE: Coastal Chatter
This is a good encapsulation of the story, and I can only add a few details. I was working on my MA in Education from 1970 to 1972 and overheard a lot of talk among faculty (remember that nearly everyone was in Tidwell Hall back then) about friction between the local and Tuscaloosa leadership. They were complaining then that the "old guard" to the west was trying its darndest to limit graduate programs UAB wanted to offer. The desire was to limit UAB to a small commuter undergrad enrollment and force nearly all grad students (and their higher per hour revenue) to come to the Tuscaloosa campus. This contentious atmosphere carried over to athletics after Gene Bartow worked his magic at UAB.

Regarding Jimbo Fisher being hired, at that time Fisher was married to a B'ham girl so he had family connections here, and he had played QB at Samford under Terry Bowden so he knew the region. As I understood it, UAB made the first FBHC offer he had from a D1 school.
(This post was last modified: 09-06-2018 11:39 AM by BAMANBLAZERFAN.)
09-06-2018 10:51 AM
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the_blazerman Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Coastal Chatter
Interesting because wasn't Alabama trying to move all the undergrads to Tuscaloosa in these recent events since 2014?
09-06-2018 12:11 PM
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RE: Coastal Chatter
(09-06-2018 12:11 PM)the_blazerman Wrote:  Interesting because wasn't Alabama trying to move all the undergrads to Tuscaloosa in these recent events since 2014?

Many of us saw a much greater threat than just to football as the end game to the 2014 actions of the System BOT through president Ray Watts. Some suggested there was a resubjugation of the whole UAB establishment as the BOT's end game. It is possible that Dr Ray Watts got cold feet when he realized he would be blamed for that academic equivalent of Pearl Harbor and gave in to "The Return"..
09-06-2018 12:27 PM
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BlazerPhil Online
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Post: #20
RE: Coastal Chatter
(09-06-2018 12:27 PM)BAMANBLAZERFAN Wrote:  
(09-06-2018 12:11 PM)the_blazerman Wrote:  Interesting because wasn't Alabama trying to move all the undergrads to Tuscaloosa in these recent events since 2014?

Many of us saw a much greater threat than just to football as the end game to the 2014 actions of the System BOT through president Ray Watts. Some suggested there was a resubjugation of the whole UAB establishment as the BOT's end game. It is possible that Dr Ray Watts got cold feet when he realized he would be blamed for that academic equivalent of Pearl Harbor and gave in to "The Return"..


Ray doesn't have a reverse installed. He was beaten into his current position, and I doubt he ever forgets it.
09-06-2018 01:11 PM
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