UAB officially shut down its football team yesterday, ending weeks of speculation surrounding the financial stability of the program. A video surfaced yesterday that appears to be taken from inside the private meeting UAB president Ray Watts had with football players in which he announced this season would be the final season for the team. According to YouTube, the emotionally-charged video was uploaded about 16 hours ago and already has over 160,000 views.
While the audio isn’t high quality, the players are clearly upset, and at times yell at President Watts.
“It’s more than just numbers,” the UAB player says. “It’s people. It’s families. It’s UAB football.”
“This is a personal matter,” another player says. “This isn’t money. Never did you guys ask us what could we do to fix the program. Never was that asked, because it’s not about the money.”
Tristan Henderson, a senior tight end for the Blazers who served as a military police officer in Iraq before coming to UAB to play football, delivered perhaps the most emotional and powerful remarks.
“My three-year-old…what am I supposed to say to him?” he said before breaking down into tears. “You’ll go home and sleep in a comfortable big a** house. Some of these guys came from 3,000 miles away to play here, to be a part of this.”
In the background, a crowd outside the building can be heard chanting in support of the football team.
Watch the full video below:
(Warning: It includes some strong language)