Friday, December 5, 2014

What the NCAA should do about UAB players

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) recently cancelled their football program, thus leaving all of their current players adrift, among other things. Some will get scholarship offers elsewhere in Division I-A and others at lower Divisions, but some likely will not.

The NCAA should try to do what it can to accommodate these kids. There is room in college football for them to be absorbed, but the NCAA may need to help that happen.

The NCAA permits Football Bowl Subdivision schools to offer 85 football scholarships and Football Championship Subdivision schools to provide 63. The NCAA could allow schools to add UAB players without them counting against their scholarship cap. If that doesn't sweeten the pot enough, they could allow teams who add a UAB player to not only give that extra scholarship, but an extra scholarship in the year after they graduate (but only if they graduate).  I'm sure there are a lot of schools who would love to help these kids out, but not if it might cost them a player they really want. Removing the cap for them would take that away.

A last thing they could do is to agree to pay for some or all of the scholarship - with UAB pitching in. That would make it even more likely that everyone of their players would end up someplace where they can be on the football team with a scholarship - if that's what they want. Maybe some players will choose to stay at UAB.