UAB to restore three athletics programs, Atlantic Hurricane Season

Jun 1, 2015

Football, Bowling and Rifle are coming back to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

President Doctor Ray Watts decided Monday morning to reverse the earlier decision after meetings with UAB supporters went through the weekend. 

Doctor Watts announced six months ago the University could not support the football, bowling and rifle programs due to financial reasons.  UAB commissioned a report saying it would cost $49 million over five years to field a competitive program.

While the indoor practice facility plans fell through, Watts says they still plan to raise about $13 million toward a turf practice field and new fieldhouse.

A University of Alabama team won its second national championship in three years, but it wasn’t in athletics. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more about Alabama’s robotics mining team.

Alabama’s Astrobotics team won NASA’s Robotic Mining Championship last week after building their own autonomous robot capable of navigating and mining the surface of Mars.

The competition was held at Cape Canaveral on simulated Martian terrain. Teams from 47 universities were tasked with building robots that could navigate obstacles, gather soil, and even find ice buried beneath the surface.

In addition to winning the overall championship, The University of Alabama’s team won first place in several categories including mining, autonomous operation and efficiency in communication. The team also received a Caterpillar Award for Full Autonomy.

NASA hopes some of the design concepts used in the competition robots might inspire future devices deployed to Mars.

Today marks the opening of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Federal forecasters are predicting a quieter than average season with three to six hurricanes expected. Alabama disaster managers are warning state residents to make preparations anyway.

Art Faulkner is director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency. He says it only takes one hurricane like Andrew or Katrina to do a lot of damage. Faulkner adds once a hurricane appears, to can be dangerous to rely too much on forecast models…

“We’ve seen hurricanes change track, overnight the sun goes down, and it’s predicted to go one place, and it ends up moving one hundred and twenty miles, which can impact any of three States, and even intensify.”

Faulkner says the danger from a hurricane depends on where you live. Residents along the gulf coast face a possible direct hit, while in-land communities face flooding as well as evacuees driving north to escape.