If all is fair in love and war, is politics considered war?
Some people seem to think so, but the controversy surrounding the appointment of Paul Bryant Jr. to the University of Alabama Board of Trustees came to an end Friday, April 21.
Bryant replaced Frank Bromberg on the list of nominations to the board.
"The acts themselves (meaning the resignation of Bromberg and the nomination of Bryant) are democratic acts that express the interests of the board," said board member Cleophus Thomas.
But not everyone thinks that way.
Rep. John Rogers, D- Birmingham, has written a bill to sever relations between the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and its campus in Birmingham.
He said the vacant seat Bryant occupied had been promised to an alumnus of UAB. He said the 15-member Board of Trustees should contain five members from each of Alabama's three campuses ‹ Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.
"That's the only fair way to do it," Rogers said. "Otherwise, we get shortchanged."
Although the bill is in the hopper, it will probably not come to the table in the final days of the legislative session. However, Rogers is confident that the bill will earn enough support to pass the Alabama Legislature next year.
The controversy surrounding Bryant's appointment to the board first exploded when Gov. Don Siegelman asked Lowell Barron to table the nominations list from the Senate nominations committee.
Siegelman asked the trustees to review the list, especially to add the name of the son of Alabama football legend Bear Bryant.
"The governor thinks that Bryant will be an asset to the university and the board," said Carrie Kurlander, Siegelman's press secretary. "His family is part of a rich tradition, and he will only add to that legacy."
At first, the board seemed to lean toward shuffling member Garry Neil Drummond from the 6th District where he lives to the 4th District where he owns property. Then, Bryant would be named to the 6th District spot.
But that possible solution brought criticism from the Black Caucus. The caucus disliked Bryant's nomination because of comments that he made in a 1989 Esquire magazine article.
Then, a group of 14 legislators, including Rogers, signed a petition to create a free standing board of trustees for the University of Alabama at Birmingham which currently has no representation on the board.
But on April 21, Bromberg's decision to resign from the board created a seemingly peaceable solution.
"The legislature had the thing tied up," said Bromberg, referring to the confirmations. "I decided to clear the way for the other trustees to be confirmed."
Bromberg, 68, is only two years away from the board's maximum retirement age of 70.