Category Archives: UAB

UAB deserves better from Birmingham

UAB MascotWhen our Chamber of Commerce (BBA) visited Charlotte in 2004, we were greeted by the President of the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Charlotte’s a city on fire, but the first words out the President’s mouth were, “We don’t have anything like UAB.”

Can you believe a great city like Charlotte is jealous of us?

But it appears by recent events we may be taking UAB for granted.

It’s been a few weeks since UAB decided to retain its football program, so I thought it might be healthy to take a moment to reflect. Continue reading UAB deserves better from Birmingham

The University of Alabama does not exist

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees Seal
University of Alabama Board of Trustees Seal

A good friend came rushing up to me as I entered the Harbert Center for a meeting.  He said, “I just found out something I bet you don’t know— “The University of Alabama doesn’t exist.”

Now I’ve heard some farfetched things in my life, but few topped this one.

But before all you anti University of Alabama folks from UAB and UAH get too excited, he explained that you don’t exist either.

Continue reading The University of Alabama does not exist

Is free UAB movement doomed?

Free UABI think most people will agree that UAB and UAH are not fairly represented on the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.

Twelve of 15 trustees graduated from the University of Alabama, two graduated from UAB and none from UAH–one is a graduate of both UA and UAB, where he attended medical school.

Can we implement an equitable solution?  Maybe not–there’s a potential roadblock.

Continue reading Is free UAB movement doomed?

A silver lining: a good thing emerges from the UAB football controversy

Tom Cosby
Tom Cosby

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Tom Cosby.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

The late, great Fred Sington (himself a University of Alabama football All American) used to proudly say “I’m a Birmingham man. If its good for Birmingham, I’m for it.” Count me in, all in, on Mr. Sington’s team. And since I believe the killing of UAB football is not good for Birmingham, I’m not for it.

Continue reading A silver lining: a good thing emerges from the UAB football controversy

Fire Ray Watts chant makes me crazy

My granddaughter, Aly, proudly pictured with UAB Cheerleaders
My 5 year old granddaughter, Aly, proudly pictured with UAB Cheerleaders at CUSA Tournament

The UAB basketball team won nine straight home games, triumphed in the Conference USA Tournament, and captured a cherished birth in the NCAA Play Offs.  But as the clock counted down in the final moments of the Conference USA championship game, some UAB fans broke into the all too familiar chant, “Fire Ray Watts!”

I completely understand why many UAB fans are upset.  Last fall the plug was pulled on UAB football and the decision and announcement was totally mishandled.  We must blame someone. Continue reading Fire Ray Watts chant makes me crazy

There’s no stopping Birmingham

Maury Shevin
Maury Shevin

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Maury Shevin.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I recently attended a meeting of real estate professionals from the Birmingham area.

Dick Schmalz, President RGS Properties, spoke about his 20 Midtown development.  20 Midtown is the new Publix, Starbucks, retail and apartment buildings that are being developed between 3rd and 4th Avenues South on both sides of 20th Street.  These are not pie-in-the-sky projects.  They are real with building permits and bank financing. Dick said these three projects will cost more than $100 million.

Continue reading There’s no stopping Birmingham

Birmingham at mercy of outside interests

Sharecroppers
Sharecroppers

A sharecropper is someone who raises crops for the owner of a piece of land and is paid a portion of the money from the sale of the crops.

We in Birmingham have always been controlled by outside landlords.

Birmingham is the city of iron and steel and historically U.S. Steel controlled every aspect of our lives-politics, business, and people.  U.S. Steel is headquartered in Pittsburgh and was for much of Birmingham’s history our largest employer.  Birmingham’s labor was first to be laid off and last to be rehired.  All decisions favored Pittsburgh over Birmingham, and of course, all profits were sent up north.

Fortunately, U.S. Steel is no longer our largest employer, but unfortunately we are still being impacted. February 5th, U.S. Steel announced it could lay off up to 1,840 workers here.

But even though we are not now totally dependent on U.S. Steel, we are still controlled by outsiders. Continue reading Birmingham at mercy of outside interests

UAB beat Saban & 5 other things I learned from writing about the UAB football fiasco

Nick Saban, Football Coach at the University of Alabama
Nick Saban, Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama

Yes, it’s true.

On September 23, 2000 the UAB Blazers beat LSU 13 to 10 and spoiled LSU’s homecoming.  Nick Saban was the LSU Coach and Jimbo Fisher, now head coach at FSU, was an assistant.

I also learned…

It wasn’t just the termination of the UAB program that made folks angry, but how it was executed.  There are a lot of good people who were hurt by the decision, but more importantly, there was a great deal of resentment because of the way it was handled (or not handled).  Rumors swirled weeks before–then after the final game of the season the historic announcement was made.  UAB students, employees, and donors felt they were lied to and betrayed.  Continue reading UAB beat Saban & 5 other things I learned from writing about the UAB football fiasco

Ray Watts: A good man at the wrong place at the wrong time

Dr. Ray Watts, President UAB
Dr. Ray Watts, President UAB

I am dumbfounded by the unfair personal attacks against Dr. Ray Watts and UAB’s decision to shut down football.

We say we want brave leaders who are willing to make unpopular decisions when it’s for the greater good—but that certainly is not how we are responding.

It appears almost everyone—student, public, and media—are unanimously dumping on Dr. Watts.  These are the same folks who had the opportunity for years to support Blazer football, but were missing in action.

Continue reading Ray Watts: A good man at the wrong place at the wrong time

Call BAMA ‘UAT’—Join the witness protection program

University of AlabamaI wrote a piece doubting the longevity of UAB Football, a young Auburn student wrote a rebuttal, and all hell broke loose on the Internet.

I expected some push back—but it didn’t come from where I expected.

Sher hates UAB & Birmingham

In my defense, I am pro UAB and Birmingham, but some commenters didn’t think so.

“What a convoluted, illogical, irrelevant opinion by Sher. And this man is supposed to be singing the praises of The Comeback Town?…What a conceited jerk.” Continue reading Call BAMA ‘UAT’—Join the witness protection program