How the loss of UAB football could affect Georgia State

The University of Alabama˗Birmingham (UAB) dropped a bombshell when the school dropped its football program this past Wednesday. It was news that could create a ripple effect throughout collegiate football, including at Georgia State.

As a school with a football program, the Blazers participated in football as a member of Conference USA. With football gone, it is likely they will be in search of a new conference as football is a requirement to be in CUSA. One option could be the Sun Belt, the Panthers’ current conference.

While that possibility is out there, the Sun Belt is a conference in search of a twelfth football school. Candidates for that include James Madison, Missouri State, Jacksonville State and Liberty.

Speculation then came out on social media that Georgia State could be one of the schools Conference USA could have its eyes on to replace UAB. Other Sun Belt schools, including Troy, South Alabama, and Texas State are also said to be possibilities.


On the subject of if similar troubles are rising at Georgia State, an athletics spokesman told the Atlanta Journal˗Constitution (AJC) that the university remains committed to the football program.

“There have been no discussions about a change in direction for the football program at any level and we are eager to continue the building process,” the spokesman said.

Even with the Panthers’ early growing pains in football, what Georgia State does offer is the Atlanta market: A major incentive for college sports conferences to expand. Conferences have added schools in the past not only based on athletic performance, but because of their proximity to a big city.

The Big Ten, geographically based in the Midwestern U.S., did this when they added Maryland and Rutgers to expand northeast into the Washington, D.C. and New York City markets respectively.

The Panthers and Blazers were also due to match up on the gridiron the next two seasons. Next year, Georgia State was slated to face UAB at Legion Field on Sept. 12 while the Blazers would have played the Panthers at the Georgia Dome on Oct. 1, 2016.

UAB will now have to pay back $300,000 for canceling the home˗and˗home with Georgia State, according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.

With the elimination of the program at UAB, all players can transfer. It is possible some may choose Georgia State in the future since 20 of the Blazers’ players on their current 106˗player roster are from the state of Georgia and only five of them are seniors.

The Signal attempted to reach out to the Sun Belt for its reaction. The conference offered no comment.


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