BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The celebration is on and now the work begins to bring back UAB football.
UAB President Dr. Ray Watts got the blame for killing those three sports back in December. Now the ball has been handed off to new AD Mark Ingram raise big bucks, build new facilities and get the Blazers on the field again as soon as possible.
In talking about the future, Ingram was a very confident man. He knows it's a big task to bring back football. Ingram said talks are underway with Coach Bill Clark to get a new contract. Ingram would not commit that Clark will get a more than three-year contact which he had when he signed originally. UAB backers criticized the school for not giving Clark a longer contract.
Ingram said he would like to see the Blazers play in an on-campus stadium but he would not turn down an opportunity to play in a dome stadium.
Ingram said talks are underway with this week and next with Conference USA and later the NCAA about returning to football field. While Ingram hopes to see football return in 2016, that is no guarantee.
"We also have to think about the welfare of the student athletes. I'm not interested in over signing a huge class of freshmen and put them out and play a Conference USA schedule. It's not fair to them, it's not that safe," Ingram said.
Ingram said he believes he can pull off the $30 million donations needed to fill the budget gap for the sports. He has been pleased with the reaction he is getting from fans, donors and community leaders.