The UAB Blazers will reinstate their football program, University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray L. Watts announced Monday.
“Given the broad base of support never before seen, as of today, we are taking steps to reinstate the football, rifle and bowling programs,” Watts said. “I am forwarding documents to Conference USA and the NCAA notifying them that UAB plans to remain an FBS program and a full member of C-USA.”
Back in December, UAB shut down their football program due to budgetary reasons.
When the football team will take the field again remains to be seen, although UAB athletic director Mark Ingram said the goal is as soon as possible, which “may be 2016.”
Although most players transferred and assistant coaches took other positions, head coach Bill Clark remained with the school in hopes the team would be reinstated. He released the following statement today:
“Like all UAB supporters, I am thrilled with today’s news. This is a critical first step toward UAB football’s new path. It takes tremendous commitment and support to run a successful football program. We have a lot of work to do but we start anew today!
“I sincerely appreciate all of the people who have reached out to voice their support for the program and me personally; it means a lot to me and my family. It is an exciting day for UAB and a true relief to know there is a future for UAB football.”
Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky also issued a statement on UAB football.
“We are very pleased with the decision to bring back the football program at UAB. As a conference we are committed to football, and we welcome the good news that the UAB football program has been given another chance. From all indications, this program will now be able to count on a very strong foundation of community support upon which it will begin the re-building that will position it well for success into the future. Although the lengthy evaluation process was challenging, this final outcome makes it worth the wait. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Birmingham as they plan this exciting new chapter in UAB football.”