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Charles Barkley among athletes showing support for UAB football program

A number of current and former athletes are using Twitter to protest the expected end of the program.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UAB is expected to shut down their football program Tuesday, according to multiple reports, just days after the program reached bowl eligibility for just the second time in its history. This news has been rumored for about a month, when UAB boosters alleged the Alabama Board of Trustees planned to shut down the program.

One of the board's members, Paul Bryant Jr., has come under particular fire. The son of legendary Alabama head coach Bear Bryant, Bryant blocked UAB from hiring current Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher back in 2006, forcing them to hire former Alabama player Neal Callaway, who went 18-42 at UAB. Bryant was also accused of blocking a 2011 plan to build an on-campus stadium for the Blazers. A prominent UAB booster alleged Bryant has attempted to kill the program as revenge for when former UAB coach and athletic director Gene Bartow suggested the NCAA investigate Alabama's basketball program and wrote a letter to the NCAA saying penalized Alabama football coaches were "trained" by Bear Bryant.

Many athletes who went to school in Alabama (at UAB or otherwise) have tweeted their support for the program, using the hashtag #FreeUAB.

Alabama native Charles Barkley, who played basketball at Auburn:

Former Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri:

Former Alabama quarterback and current Cincinnati Bengal AJ McCarron:

Nebraska running back and Birmingham native Ameer Abdullah:

Former UAB running back and current Carolina Panther Darrin Reaves:

Former Alabama linebacker and current Baltimore Raven CJ Mosley:

Former UAB wide receiver and current Atlanta Falcon Roddy White:

Former Alabama linebacker and current Baltimore Raven Courtney Upshaw:

Former UAB quarterback and current Carolina Panther Joe Webb:

Graeme McDowell, UAB graduate and professional golfer: