Tuesday’s roundup: UAB to play football again in 2017

Associated Press

Birmingham, Ala. — UAB football will take the field again in 2017 and remain an FBS program.

Athletic director Mark Ingram said Tuesday that rifle will return in the upcoming season, while bowling will compete in 2016-17 and football in two years.

UAB dropped all three sports in December to cut costs, then announced six months later that they would be reinstated.

The NCAA cleared UAB to resume playing football in 2017 and continue competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Ingram said.

“I am so excited that UAB football will return to FBS competition in 2017,” said Blazers football coach Bill Clark, whose current contract runs through 2016. “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.”

UAB supporters pledged enough money to cover the projected $17 million cost to operate football over the next five years, plus millions more toward facility upgrades.

The NCAA won’t subject UAB to FBS minimum scholarship numbers for three academic years beginning with 2015-16.

The Blazers would be eligible immediately for postseason play and a Conference USA title if they qualify on the field.

Extra points

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora doesn’t sound worried about the prospect of NCAA penalties against the football program tied to the school’s academic fraud scandal.

Speaking at the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason media days, Fedora says he’s “pretty positive that it’s going to turn out good for us.”

The school faces five NCAA charges regarding irregularities in an academic department.

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