Nearly half a year after shutting down its football program, the University of Alabama at Birmingham announced Tuesday that it would resume competition in 2017.
The team will compete at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level.
The NCAA informed the school that the Blazers' football program will not be subject to FBS requirements for a period of three academic years, beginning with 2015-16, and that it would be counted as an FBS opponent once it begins participating in outside competition. UAB would be eligible for postseason bowl play and will also be eligible for Conference USA championships.
On June 1, university president Ray Watts said that the school's football, rifle and bowling programs will return after the university could not find money in the budget to continue the sports. The school is working on plans to resume rifle competition this year, and bowling in 2016.
Since the announcement that the football program would be restored, UAB, the NCAA and Conference USA have had discussions on recruiting, building a roster and maintaining FBS status.
UAB was the first school to shutter a major football program since Pacific in 1995. Its all-time record is 86-135, and Bill Clark, who coached the team for the first time in 2014, is expected to return.