In this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, Brett Pulley
examines the battle between residents and the city over helping
the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) establish its
Division I-A college football program. Specifically, the
Birmingham City Council voted to give UAB $2.2M to upgrade its
football program I by 1996. "To some people in the loose
coalition opposing" the city giving money to UAB to start
football, "the controversy boils down to a frustration with the
dominance of the university locally and the dominance of football
here and throughout the state." In the mid-'80s the city gave
$1M to the USFL's Birmingham Stallions to start their franchise.
The city received "some used uniforms and equipment in return for
its investment." In '91, the city decided to give the World
League's Birmingham Fire stadium concession funds. Opponents of
public funding to UAB for football say the money would be better
spent on education and economic revitalization of the city (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 11/23).
St. Petersburg has been notified by the NCAA it is one of
five finalists for the Southeast regional Sweet 16 tournament in
'98. The 1999 Final Four already has been awarded to St. Pete.
Sites are expected to be chosen as soon as next week after the
Division I men's basketball committee meets and makes its
recommendations to the NCAA executive committee. Also making the
cut: Atlanta, Knoxville and Lexington. Atlanta submitted two
bids, one for the Omni and one for the GA Dome. If St. Pete does
not get the Sweet 16 regional spot, the city and ThunderDome will
be "all but a lock" for first- and second-round games in '98.
The NCAA generally awards either of the two tournaments to a
Final Four site the year before those games as a dress rehearsal
(Bob Chick, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/23).