UAB announced Tuesday it will bring back its football program in 2017. The Blazers will be counted as a full-fledged FBS program at that time, with no probationary period, and receive immediate postseason eligibility.
Bringing a program back from the dead and building a team that can compete in the postseason is another matter entirely. That will fall to head coach Bill Clark, who is still waiting on a new contract.
“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," Clark said in a statement. "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."
“It has been our intent to resume competition as soon as possible,” AD Mark Ingram said. “As our coaches and administrative staff looked at multiple scenarios, we wanted to make sure that the welfare of our student-athletes, which is always a top priority, was at the center of the conversation. This, along with our ability to maintain our FBS Status, compete for conference championships and eligible for bowl participation were extremely important to us. We are pleased that this outcome satisfies all of those desires. Now that this plan is in place, each of these three teams can begin rebuilding, and can prepare to resume competition.”