McNeill Talks UAB, College Football Playoff

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Ruffin McNeill had some thoughts on UAB's football program ending and last week's announcement of the four College Football Playoff teams.

Ruffin McNeill met with reporters at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Sunday to discuss a few of the recent current events in college football. Specifically, the fifth-year ECU coach provided some comments on the recent shutdown of UAB’s football program and the first ever quartet of College Football Playoff teams being announced a week ago.

Below are the questions Inside ECU Sports asked with McNeill’s fully transcribed quotes:

As a coach who competed on an annual basis with UAB for several years, what are your thoughts on the recent news that its program was being shut down?

RM: “It’s disappointing to take a program out. They can find ways to make it work. You can’t tell me they couldn’t find a way to make it work at UAB. It’s disappointing for the coaches, but for the players. In team sports — in my opinion —they provide kids with an opportunity.

"Kids that maybe didn’t have a chance, but through football, opportunities come. Not necessarily NFL, but connections to get a great job. For example, Warren Harvey’s already decided who he’s working for and he hasn’t even played his last game. Charlie Coggins has two or three job offers already. Not NFL, but just jobs. I can go around the whole circle, but it’s amazing.

"I’ve got kids that don’t have any homes right now. They’ve got no parents, so Earlene and I raised them ourselves. But if we’re not a football program, that wouldn’t happen. I’m sure UAB, they’ve got a lot of kids like that too. It’s one of the most disappointing news I had heard. I thought they were going to step up and pull it out.”

You said you would wait and see until after the four teams were selected before you develop an opinion on the College Football Playoff. After seeing who the four were and how the last month or so unfolded, what do you think of the process?

RM: “We probably need to expand it, I think, because there were some good teams left out. Some good teams that have as good a chance as winning as the four that were selected. The four selected are very outstanding teams, but there are some teams that really played outstanding this year that were not in there. It can go from maybe six to eight teams. I would say that.”

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