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Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — UAB is shutting down the football program.

The university announced the decision Tuesday minutes after President Ray Watts met with the Blazers players and coaches. UAB made the decision after a campus-wide study conducted by a consulting firm over the past year.

Watts says financial realities "are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB."

He says the University of Alabama-Birmingham subdisizes two-thirds of the $30 million annual operating budget.

Several hundred UAB students and fans gathered and marched through campus the past three days showing their support of the program.

The Blazers are 6-6 and bowl eligible after coach Bill Clark's first season. The program's only bowl trip came in 2004.

Players can transfer to other schools and play immediately.