UAB announced that its football, bowling and rifle teams would return to action in 2017.
“I am so excited that UAB Football will return to FBS competition in 2017,” head football coach Bill Clark said in a press release. “Like our fans, I wanted to light the scoreboard much sooner, but doing it right is more important than doing it fast, and this was our best option. We want a program that is here to stay. We have to start by building a new, stronger foundation. We need to take our time to do it right, then we can compete for conference and bowl championships."
The football team will still compete at the FBS level upon its return and will be eligible to compete in postseason bowl competition should it meet qualifying standards. The team will also be eligible for the Conference USA title in 2017.
The announcement comes just seven months after the school decided to shut down the football program due to financial concerns. After the team folded, the university received pledges that would ease the projected $17.2 million deficit over the next five years once the sport was restored. Student leaders also collected fees from the city and the school's national alumni group to bring the team back.
The UAB bowling and rifle team also were cut late last year, but will each return to action over the next three years.
- Christopher Chavez