I’m not a numbers guru – like you didn’t know that already – so I couldn’t pick through all the fuzzy math contained in the report UAB’s president relied on to shut down the football program the way Andy Schwarz could. But the one assumption made there that jumped out at me as being questionable at best was that Conference USA, which has a requirement that all members field football teams, would continue to accept UAB as a part of the conference and keep the checks flowing.
Turns out that was more than questionable. It was wrong.
Conference USA has communicated to UAB that the league won’t amend its bylaws to keep the Blazers without football, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
UAB dropped football in December and has a study from a consultant expected to be released by May 15 on whether the school made the right decision in cutting the sport. Conference USA’s executive committee meets in June and will formally vote on UAB’s future. But there is not interest from two-thirds of C-USA’s presidents to change the league’s bylaws requiring football as a condition of membership.
Assuming UAB doesn’t reinstate football for 2016, the school will most likely be a C-USA member for one more academic year in 2015-16, given the short timeframe for the Blazers to find a new home. C-USA is reluctant to kick out UAB and leave its sports without playing schedules.
So it’s one and done for the Blazers. And what about that money? Er… what money?
UAB would not receive a full revenue share next year in C-USA if it stays. UAB is expected to receive about $2.2 to $2.4 million this fiscal year from C-USA. The College Football Playoff is expected to be worth about $800,000 for UAB. C-USA’s postseason football revenue increased by about 500 percent this year due to the CFP compared to past revenue from the Bowl Championship Series.
That’s a lot of money to lose. Maybe the school can recoup some of the loss by asking for a refund on the report for getting advice based on this:
When UAB eliminated football, bowling and rifle in December, the report the university used did not include a financial model accounting for no C-USA revenue.
Then again, I’m not sure it would have mattered if it had.
Enjoy your new home in the Missouri Valley Conference, fellas.