Sunday, December 17, 2006

UAB: Second Rate Football Program Doomed to Devices of 'Bama?







Interesting blog entry by Stewart Mandel on cnnsi.com. Apparently, UAB was all set to offer Jimbo Fisher, the highly talked about offensive coordinator at LSU who has had his name come up in many of the coaching hunts this year, their head coaching job. The salary offer was going to be 600K, which is inline with other ConfUSA coaches, AND half the salary was to be funded privately by some local boosters. So, essentially, UAB was gonna get an up and coming NAME coach for 300K a year. Pretty nice deal, right?

Sounded nice, until the Board of Trustees nixed the deal, saying that 600k was fiscally irresponsible. They never mentioned that half was going to be privately funded. But, that isn't the interesting part.

The interesting part: the BOT has over site of all the schools in the Univerisity of Alabama system. So, it is the very same BOT that ok'd buying out Shula's contract with 4M still on it. And the same BOT that OK'd over 2M a year for Rich Rodriguez. Seems kind of weird that they would nix what would amount to a measely 300K a year for a coach that might make UAB competitive. Or does it seem weird?

As Mandel points out, Bear Bryant's son is on the board...along with several other high powered Bama folks. Is it possible that the Bama contingent on the BOT decided to sabotage UAB's rebuilding efforts? That they didn't want a name coach in state competing for recruits and possibly booster dollars in Birmingham?

This is pretty sordid stuff. And it gets interesting again as UAB just announced that they are hiring UGA offensive coordinator Neil Callaway. Details of the salary are not available yet, but it is between 300-400K. Which is what it would have cost the school to bring in Fisher.

So, basically, the 'Bama friendly BOT decided to shit on the hiring of Jimbo Fisher in the name of "fiscal responsibility" (after having given Shula 4M to go away). And to top it off, they approved the hiring of a coach that no one else has seriously been looking at and was even relieved of his play calling duties at UGA this year, for roughly the amount of money it would have cost UAB to go with Fisher.

Hard not to believe that UAB got screwed in this deal.

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