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Alabama stirs controversy with refusal to let Justin Knox transfer to UAB

UAB Blazers / Alabama Crimson Tide
UAB Blazers / Alabama Crimson Tide
University of Alabama at Birmingham / University of Alabama

The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) has stirred controversy relating to basketball player Justin Knox.

As has been reported in The Birmingham News, Knox ,who will attain his undergraduate degree in only three years, is not being allowed to transfer to UAB for graduate school. Alabama also says he cannot transfer to any other SEC school or a school on next season's basketball schedule. 

According to The Birmingham News, Knox's family is quite upset that the contract they want to give Knox will not allow him to stay within the University of Alabama System. That system includes UAT, UAB, and UA-Hunstville. And don't kid yourself, Alabama is not concerned with UA-Huntsville, who is not a D-1 school such as Alabama and UAB.

According to those in Tuscaloosa, the system has an agreement in place that prevents players from transferring from one school to another in the system. If this is true, then Tuscaloosa (as well as UAB) has done a pretty poor job at following it's own rules. 

Due to the Justin Knox story, which has been received ample coverage locally, a top sports story in the paper was of a UAT women's player who just transferred to UAB. 

The Mobile-Press Register published an article claiming that Alabama suspects UAB of "tampering" with Knox by contacting him without permission. The article claims they will not pursue action with the NCAA, which likely means it didn't happen. If it didn't, one would hope that a university would restrain itself from making false accusations against another school.

What is the real story behind the latest public quarrel between Alabama and UAB? This obviously is not a a rule, as many players have transferred between the two schools in the past. Is Anthony Grant mad at Mike Davis? Did UAB really break an NCAA rule and contact Justin Knox before he talked to officials at Alabama? Or is it likely the same reason it has always been? The fact that Alabama just really hates UAB. 

Obviously they can't say it in a public forum, but the animosity has been there since the day Gene Bartow set up shop on the Southside. Despite what many Bama fans seem to think, Alabama does indeed care about UAB. They may not have to worry about being beaten by the Blazers in football (mainly because they will probably never play), but UAB generally has a stronger basketball program than the Tide. For a school that really, really wants to be the best at all sports in this state, that just isn't acceptable. 

We will see how this particular incident plays out, but you can bet it won't be the last. UAB and Alabama have quite a rivalry. It may not play out on the field or the court in a "major" sport, but even before UAB defeated Alabama in the NIT years ago, these programs didn't get along. 


  • Bartholemew Terrence 5 years ago

    "According to those in Tuscaloosa, the system has an agreement in place that prevents players from transferring from one school to another in the system."

    I've seen the quote from Knox's uncle that says they were told such a rule existed, but I haven't seen any such indication from those in Tuscaloosa. Could you link me to that?

  • Glenn 5 years ago

    Well, that Bites!

  • RON 5 years ago

    The real issue here is that ALABAMA continues to engage in RESTRAINT OF TRADE. ALABAMA (SEC) AND ESPN CONTROL the newspapers, radio talk, television sports,and who (how and when) participates. An occasional crumb is given to the NON-BCS schools because of REAL FEAR of the Mountain West Conference and some in Congress. In SEC country, no media will speak out because of possible job retaliation. The bully gets his way. CLEARLY, by its actions ALABAMA FEARS UAB. I attended the University of Alabama for one year and have no connection to/with UAB. The current relationship between UAB and UA is unacceptable and the UA's/UAB's BOARD'S hostility to UAB is done openly(I could list mutiple examples). It is my view, as an elderly man that UAB SHOULD DEMAND RESPECT FROM THOSE WHO INSULT THE INSTITUTION because it is the right thing to do. If there limited ethics in business or sports how can you expect young people to understand/recognize ethics and the concept of right and wrong.

  • Tony 5 years ago

    Hey Zach
    If Bama played UAB it would at least be something new and different. Win or lose, it would sell tickets and maybe bring in new fans. You are doing a good job and I think you will do good at whatever you put your mind to.
    It won't be too long before Nick Saban replaces Coach Stallings on the Seymore Trucks commercials.
    Go Blazers.

  • Bartholemew Terrence 5 years ago


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