Just six months after UAB announced its football team would be disbanded following the 2014 season, the Blazers are set to return to FBS competition.
School president Ray Watts announced the decision to reinstate the football program on Monday afternoon, but it’s uncertain when UAB will return to the gridiron.
Since the decision to eliminate the football team in December, UAB’s fanbase and the city of Birmingham stepped up with donations and overall support to help the program return.
With UAB keeping its football program, the Blazers will be allowed to remain in Conference USA.
It’s anticipated UAB will hit the field again in 2016, but many questions remain for the program. Bill Clark did an outstanding job in leading the Blazers to a 6-6 mark in 2014 and will return as the head coach. But UAB is also starting from scratch in terms of players and talent and it will take time to rebuild the roster.
Also, there’s the question of facilities. UAB plays in antiquated Legion Field and an on-campus facility or improved stadium is needed. The program is also raising to funds to improve the practice fields and invest in the overall facilities.
All of the questions surrounding the disbanding and resinstating of the program weren’t answered on Monday. However, thanks to the #FreeUAB movement on Twitter and some leaders in Birmingham and in the state of Alabama, the Blazers will be back on the gridiron in the near future.