After weeks and months of speculation about the future of the UAB football program, it appears the program has seen its final days. USA Today is reporting the program will be shut down as early as this week.
The end has appeared to be near for some time now. Earlier in November UAB athletics director Brian Mackin failed to issue a commitment to the football program’s future. The concern had been increasing from UAB alums as support for the program from the university appeared to be diminishing. The lack of scheduling future opponents set off red flags and the cost of running the program was becoming a significant issue.
The timing of such a decision comes at a rough time. UAB finally showed some promise this season and managed to become bowl-eligible with six wins. Official bowl pairings will be announced next Sunday, but now you have to wonder if UAB will even send a team to a bowl game or not.
With UAB shutting down its football program, Conference USA will have a vacant spot in its football line-up. The loss of UAB will drop the football membership to 12 members, but Charlotte will be joining the conference in 2015 to bring the football membership up to 13. Conference USA can clearly function with a 13-team football alignment, although having even membership does have some nice benefits when it comes to balance. UMass has played its final game in the MAC and is searching for a more permanent football future. Conference USA might be the best possible option for UMass, unless the American Athletic Conference came calling, but there is no word there is any interest from Conference USA at this time. The impact of losing UAB in football for other sports at the university and in Conference USA remains unknown for now.
UPDATE: Updated to correct Conference USA membership information with addition of Charlotte in 2015.
You don’t see this happen too often.
Citing multiple sources, Mike Casazza of EerSports.com is reporting that West Virginia defensive lineman Adam Shuler is no longer a member of the Mountaineers football team. A team official stated the redshirt sophomore “is reportedly pursuing a career in track and field,” Casazza wrote.
It’s unclear whether the track & field pursuit would take place at WVU or at another university.
According to Shuler’s bio on the team’s official website, he finished runner-up as a high school senior in the discus at the Florida state track & field championships. He finished third in the same event as a sophomore.
Shuler, a three-star member of the Mountaineers’ 2015 recruiting class, started 10 games this past season. However, on the most recent depth chart, he’s listed as the backup to Ezekiel Rose at one of the defensive end spots.
In 12 games, Shuler’s three sacks were tied for third on the team while his eight tackles for loss were good for solo third.
It appears the Jalen Hurts Transfer Protection Plan™ is close to being implemented.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Alabama had an interest in Gardner Minshew, the quarterback who announced late last month that he had withdrawn from East Carolina to tend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi. That interest has ramped up since as al.com is reporting that Minshew will be visiting the Crimson Tide’s campus this weekend.
As a graduate transfer, Minshew would be eligible to play immediately this season at UA, or any other FBS program for that matter.
Alabama’s interest in a grad transfer at the position will do nothing to quell the rumors that Hurts, the starter for each of the last 29 games over the past two seasons, is a potential candidate for a transfer. Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa in the national championship game, with the true freshman’s comeback heroics signaling a likely changing of the guard under center.
As for Minshew, he started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.
Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.
In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.
Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.
In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.
When it came to filling out his Purdue coaching staff, Jeff Brohm didn’t have to look very far.
Kevin Wolthausen, the football program confirmed in a release, has been hired as the 10th of Brohm’s allotted 10 Boilermakers assistant coaches. Per the school, Wolthausen will be working with the team’s special teams and defense.
This marks a positional homecoming of sorts for Wolthausen as he spent the 2012 season as the defensive line coach at Purdue. Last season, Wolthausen served as a quality control coach for both special teams and defense for the Boilermakers.
In between his two stints in West Lafayette, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at UConn in 2016; the two years prior, he was the Huskies’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
In 2013, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator at Florida International. The 60-year-old long-time college football assistant has also spent time on staffs at Louisville, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Oklahoma.