University of Alabama at Birmingham Football is no more. In a sport without player salaries, money put the final nail in the UAB Blazers' coffin.
On the surface, the conversation of the Blazers' gridiron death has revolved around UAB President Ray Watts, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and UAB boosters. The forgotten actors: The students.
Two senior UAB digital media students, Kourtney Cowart and Michael Shikany, wasted no time capturing the immediate effects of the football program cancellation. As part of a project for ethnographic filmmaking, Cowart and Shikany produced a 12-minute documentary short on the end of UAB Football called "4th Down."
The video highlights the final season of UAB football with interviews with players, coaches, faculty, students and fans. Former UAB star and current Carolina Panthers running back Darrin Reaves is among those interviewed.
Cowart and Shikany also put into perspective the origins of UAB Football and other Blazers athletic programs. The documentary updates the public on recent events at UAB since the cancellation and depicts the #FreeUAB movement. Some individuals in Birmingham still believe UAB Football can make it back as early as 2016.
"The events of the cancellation have really been the biggest rally for unity all across campus," Cowart told ThePostGame. "I would say it even extends across the Birmingham community. When there's an injustice, people come together to fight for what they believe in and that's exactly what we're doing."
Cowart and Shikany debuted "4th Down" to the public last Thursday. Cowart, who has family members employed by the university and has been around UAB since her childhood, says the immediate response on campus has been "phenomenal."
Adds Shikany, who worked as a student assistant from 2011 to the team's demise: "It's just something I felt very passionate about, and people need to know who it's affecting and how it's affecting them."
Cowart and Shikany took "4th Down" to UAB Faculty Athletics Representative Frank Messina before showing it to the public. Messina insisted he watch it twice.
As for the future of the video, Cowart and Shikany are hoping to gain exposure for both themselves and the UAB community. "4th Down" is a student voice for the Blazers' football cancellation.
"No one from either the NFL it NCAA has contacted me," Cowart says. "I would love for them to do so! There are so many layers to this story that people don't realize. Michael and I joke about making it on to ESPN's "30 for 30," [and] I think that a national spotlight will help bring justice. How about it, ESPN?"
As for 2015, it is definite that UAB will not have a football program. Cowart and Shikany graduate in December, so in their final fall, the "4th Down" developers will attend a Blazers Football game.
On a side note, here is former UAB linebacker Derek Slaughter wearing his helmet over his cap Saturday's UAB graduation:
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.