UAB Shuts Down Football Program — Who Could Replace Them In C-USA?
After nearly 25 years, UAB's football program is shutting down. Ray Watts, president of UAB informed the football team earlier today that the decision has been made to close the football program, which first entered Division 1A as an independent in 1996. Despite an outpouring of support in the last few days from the student body and fan base, UAB's football program was losing too much money in order to survive according to a campus-wide study conducted by a consulting firm over the past year.
Although UAB would like to stay in C-USA, the conference bylaws state that all member schools must play football on the Division level. UAB is also hosting next year's C-USA men's and women's basketball tournament. There have been some rumors that NMSU could be a possible replacement for UAB in C-USA. However, a source close to the situation told 600 ESPN El Paso that both Georgia State and Louisiana Lafayette from the Sun Belt are in much better position to replace the Blazers in C-USA than NMSU. If Louisiana Lafayette were to move from the Sun Belt to C-USA, the school would drop Lafayette from their name and would just be known as the University of Louisiana. Liberty, a current FCS football program located in Lynchburg, Virginia, will pursue moving up to FBS and try to follow Old Dominion's lead and enter C-USA.