On Dec. 2, the University of Alabama-Birmingham announced that their football program will be discontinued after the 2014 season. This decision came as a tragic shock to the players, coaches and fans of UAB football; a major program like this has not been shut down since Pacific University cancelled its team in 1995. University President Ray Watts cites the upward trend of the costs of running a football program as reason for his decision, but was reluctant to answer when asked about the figures.
Eradication of the football program could not have come at a worse time. The school had just hired head coach Bill Clark, whose invigorating style of coaching helped push UAB to its best record in years. At 6-6, UAB drastically improved and became bowl eligible for only the second time in its existence. Clark’s new regime had also boosted recruiting efforts for the school, providing the helping hand that the program needed to really get on its feet.
The real victims of this tragedy, however, are the players. With players of all different backgrounds, UAB was a place for its athletes to bond as brothers and receive a great education. One such athlete is recent Chattahoochee alum Collin Lisa. Collin accepted a scholarship to UAB in hopes that he would be able to get valuable playing time and break Roddy White’s receiving records at the school. Unfortunately, Collin and his teammates’ dreams have all come to a halt.
Like the 104 other members of his team, Collin now wonders what the future has in store for him, his school and his program.
(cover photo courtesy UAB Football Facebook page via Huffington Post)