Never. Never, ever. Alabama would never play UAB in football, because UAB should never ever even have a football team, former Crimson Tide coach Bill Curry shouted from the Capstone’s gilded rooftop in 1989—”We have a team in the University system and I’m the coach”— when the Blazers first dared dream of gridiron glory.
So who did Birmingham News sportswriter Wayne Martin go to when he wanted counter-quotes on the pigskin potential of what was then the second-largest university in the state? The man who had just defied the Tide’s pledge to never, ever play another team, at least on its home field: Pat Dye.
And Dye, as Dye did, laid it out there.
“What I really believe is that the people of UAB and the City of Birmingham should be left alone to decide their athletic future based completely on what they feel is in the best interest of UAB and the City of Birmingham, not what other people decide.”
And if UAB decided football was in it’s best interest, would Auburn agree to a game? To a series? “I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t play UAB,” Dye said.