1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Closing UAB Football: What really happened begins to come out

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Neutral Corner, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    On December 2, 2014, UAB President Ray Watts announced that the university's football, rifle, and bowling teams were being closed for financial reasons. He stated that Carr Sports had done an analysis which the school had received a few weeks before and that after the school had examined it, the decision had been made to close the program.

    If that is true, why was a document created on September 5th by UAB's media relations staff recommending December 1 or December 2 as the best day to make the announcement that the program was closing?

    Ray Watts acted as the UA Board of Trustee's tool and closed the football program, as three of its most powerful and influential members had long desired. He said that it was done for financial reasons but never approached the school's major donors or stated that the program was at risk and asked for financial help, and made no attempt to save it.

    The BoT is smart enough that there will be little in the way of documentation from them to produce, but these are damning documents that prove Watts lied about it early and often, and has not stopped doing so since. The fact that the New York PR firm which provided detailed plans for how to handle the announcement of the football program's close has ties to UA Board member Johnny Johns does indicate at least some connection to the board. It might be noted that when Watts appointed an attorney as liaison between the UAB administration and a currently working Athletic Task Force which is looking into the numbers produced in the Carr Report, he chose Clay Ryan, of Birmingham law firm Maynard, Cooper, and Gale. UA Board member Johns was a founding partner of Maynard Cooper, which also employs the son of BoT member Finis St. John IV. It might further be noted that Ryan has acted as a legal adviser to Gov. Robert Bentley, titular President of the UA Board of trustees. The campaign chairman of Bentley's first run for the governor's office was Paul Bryant, Jr.

    Documents suggest UAB decided to kill football before the 2014 season began | AL.com

    PR firm that detailed UAB's plan to disband football has ties to UA trustee | AL.com

    UAB owed its football players the truth, but instead they got a lie | AL.com

    As further evidence of Watts' lack of integrity and of his malleable professional ethics, I offer this link:

    More Than Football: UAB Needs Academic Integrity and Independence - GASP

    As Dean of the UAB Medical School, Watts began a Clean Air Initiative as a public health measure due to the high ozone and air pollution in the Birmingham Metro area. Two weeks after he became President of UAB he abruptly closed the program that he himself had created. Why would he do such a thing?

    Gary Neal Drummond is a Trustee Emeritus, and is extremely wealthy and influential. Paul Bryant, Jr. is chairman of the Greene Group, a company with diverse investments and business interests. Both are very involved in the coal and coke business in Alabama and have a great deal of influence on the UA Board of Trustees. Drummond's ABC Coke plant is less than ten miles from the UAB campus.

    It seems to me that conjectures that Watts was pressured to end this program as a condition of being given the position of UAB president are not unfounded. The lady writing that article buries the lede a bit but the facts remain.
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Yep, that president needs to go. I understand the concern over players jumping ship, but to lie to their faces and tell them the program isn't shutting down and then shut it down is reprehensible.

    That said, there sure hasn't been that much in terms of fans screaming to bring the team back. Has there been any protests of tens of thousands of people since they shut it down?
  3. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    Did you watch the NCAA game? Did you hear the UAB fans in Louisville chanting "Fire Ray Watts", as they have done on time outs and opposing free throws ever since football was cut?

    This was at the C-USA Finals:
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Those sumbitches cut riflin'?

    Damn libruhls don't know the Second Amendment.
  5. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    Death of UAB football: PR documents show plans were in place to end sport - CBSSports.com

    (Representative Jack) "Williams called on Alabama's board to eliminate its athletic committee, which must approve major financial decisions related to UAB athletics.

    “Were the members of the Committee not Board members they would meet the NCAA definition of a booster for the University of Alabama,” Williams said. “The arrangement on the UA System Board is the only instance in NCAA Division 1 athletics where the boosters of one school have complete control over the athletic program of another Division 1 program. This committee has worked against the best interest of UAB athletics for many years and this practice must stop immediately.”
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    They're already at the game. Easy to come up with a chant. I'm referring to marching on Watts' office and the board members. Put some effort into it if it really matters.
  7. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    This came out today. At this point his handlers are still in duck and deny mode. The National Alumni Society has an emergency meeting tonight. They were the only group on campus not to vote a full no-confidence as a committee to examine the numbers behind the decision was established. They voted a conditional NoCon instead. The Undergrad SGA, the Grad Student SGA, and the Faculty Senate have all already voted NoCon. The BoT released a prewritten statement of support immediately after the faculty vote.

    I expect that the NAS will vote NoCon, to demand his resignation, and for the return of football, rifle, and bowling. Watts has *zero* support on campus. He has had locks installed on the admin building doors, with guards on them. If you don't have business inside, a verified appointment, you can't get in the building. He goes nowhere without a security guard. At the last graduation he sat on stage on the far end behind a table with a guard behind him. He did *not* hand out diplomas or shake hands. He didn't dare. It was that bad before this.

    Now? He resigns or you will indeed see thousands out there demanding that he does.

    How would you like to be the PR firm trying to spin this?


    As to the Board, their office is in Tuscaloosa, but they are from all over the state. If UAB students start marching on them they'll be paying bail or getting their heads busted. If he does not resign you may see that yet. In this era of skepticism of the actions of the police that would just about do it.
  8. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

  10. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I can't read anything about UAB football without thinking about the ESPN Magazine story from over a decade ago about the underage girl who was passed around almost the entire team. That was some crazy shit.
  11. goalmouth

    goalmouth Active Member

    A couple of dozen shitheads and bozos "protesting" -- what -- fucking football. "All we are saaaayyyying, is give shitty football a chaaance."

    Not exactly Kent State.
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Remember and ye shall receive.

    ESPNMAG.com - Out of Control
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page