While most of the college football nation has been wrapped up in which teams will play in the first-ever College Football Playoff, one team has been trying to save it's program.
Unfortunately for the University of Alabama-Birmingham, their efforts were for naught when it was announced Monday that UAB is shutting down the football program over money concerns.
"The fiscal realities we face -- both from an operating and a capital investment standpoint -- are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB," school president Ray Watts said in a statement. "As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the athletic department, football is simply not sustainable."
The decision came after a campus-wide study was conducted by a consulting firm over the past year.
Tuesday, several players met with Watts to voice their displeasure. But it was Tristan Henderson, 26, a former MP in the Army, who encapsulated the situation the best.
The senior tight end, who did a tour of duty in Iraq, gave an impassioned and emotional speech, which was caught on cell phone video (he appears at the 3:30 mark). It has since gone viral and the public has started to understand the plight of the players and team.
"You're telling me it's because the numbers didn't look right? The numbers didn't look right?" Henderson said to Watts on the video. "And you'll go home and sleep in a comfortable, big-ass house. But it's OK. What are they supposed to do? Some of these cats came from 3,000 miles away and came right here to be a part of this. To be a part of all of this," Henderson said. "But you say 'numbers'?
UAB officials released a statement in which it explained the school would save an extra $49 million over the next five years without football.