Football Media Coverage On Move To FBS, MAC - UMass Athletics

Football Media Coverage On Move To FBS, MAC



Here are various stories on UMass' elevation to the FBS and MAC.

• Sporting News: UMass To The MAC
• Boston Globe: Kraft rose to occasion
• Boston Herald UMass moves up to FBS
• Hartford Courant: UMass Makes Move To FBS Official
• Attleboro Sun-Chronicle: Kraft: UMass to be boon
• College Football Talk: MAC officially adds UMass as newest member
• ABC40: McGuirk No More

Here are video interviews from the event:

 

ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Kraft rose to occasion
Rent-free deal at Gillette allows UMass to climb to FBS
By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / April 21, 2011
 
FOXBOROUGH -- Bob Kraft has always been a big-picture guy. He saw it 17 years ago when he bought the Patriots, then built a stadium, turning a mom-and-pop NFL franchise (in terms of facilities) into a state-of-the-art operation.
 
So when University of Massachusetts administrators asked Kraft for help in their quest to elevate the program from the FCS to the FBS level, Kraft not only helped, he made the biggest donation any backer could: He gave them Gillette Stadium rent-free. For the foreseeable future.
 
"I'm passionate about the sport of football,'' Kraft said yesterday at a press conference to make official UMass's move to the Mid-American Conference -- in football only -- starting in 2012. "I want to see it develop in a lot of ways.''
 
UMass supporters have been dreaming about the move for years. It never happened, because no league would bite on taking a Division 1-AA (FCS) program as an expansion team. And you can't survive at the FBS level without a conference -- unless you have your own television network, like Notre Dame and most recently BYU.
 
Kraft knew this, and he worked hard last fall to persuade the Big East to consider UMass. But the Big East had gone the 1AA route with Connecticut and then Villanova, which is still debating the issue. And UConn, quite frankly, probably didn't want the competition of another New England school.
 
So UMass switched targets. Athletic director John McCutcheon went to the MAC and bargained for the same deal it gave Temple a few years ago. The Owls had been kicked out of the Big East and needed a home for football. The MAC took them in because it wanted to expand its footprint to the East. All it asked for in return was a guarantee of four games a year against MAC teams in men's and women's basketball.
 
The MAC made the same offer to UMass. But UMass needed a better venue. McGuirk Stadium in Amherst has a capacity of only 17,000 and is remote to the 120,000 alumni who UMass officials say live in Eastern Massachusetts. It was not FBS-quality.
 
Enter Kraft. He knew UMass was far from a cash cow, but he also knew he could make a deal that would be profitable -- eventually. He wouldn't charge the Minutemen rent, but he wanted a share of the revenue when and if the crowds came.
 
They came a year ago, when UMass played the University of New Hampshire at Gillette Stadium and drew 32,848, a remarkable crowd for two New England schools at the FCS level.
 
Kraft is smart enough to know that MAC games against Central Michigan or Akron in October and November won't draw half that. But he also knows that schools such as Michigan, which hosted the Minutemen last year, might come here to play a UMass team at the FBS level.
 
Sure, the deals will be on a two-for-one basis in term of home dates. But the big schools are looking for paydays against competition they can beat -- which should be the case against a UMass team that will be in a transitional stage for a few years. Schools such as Virginia Tech, Washington, and Texas A&M have already talked to UMass about possible dates in Foxborough.
 
Kraft knows that UMass-Boston College would be a decent draw in Foxborough, if BC agrees to play. So would UMass-UConn. McCutcheon has reached out to BC and UConn.
 
"We play [BC] in a lot of sports,'' said McCutcheon. "We go there. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, isn't it?''
 
Perhaps. BC says it will think about it. But BC is wary of the newest FBS team in New England. The Eagles won't play UConn because of Big East bad blood.
 
And if a program gets too good too quickly, watch out. BC is now having problems finding dates to play Harvard in basketball next winter, which is strange until you look at the last three seasons, which brought three Harvard victories over the Eagles.
 
But that is a problem for the future. For now, UMass ventures into what it believes will eventually be a more profitable operation than FCS football (almost no program makes money at that level).
 
It's all hugs and kisses right now. The future looks brighter than it did a week ago, and the people at UMass should bow to Bob Kraft & Co. each day.
 
Asked if there would have been a deal had Kraft not offered the use of the stadium rent-free, McCutcheon said, "Probably not. That was the linchpin for everything. A world-class facility which can attract big-time nonconference opponents. There is no way we could get that done without it.''
 
Truth be told, the deal with the MAC is not perfect. Rivalries will be hard to manufacture, and playing your sports in two different conferences can cause some headaches.
 
And if the Big East called tomorrow and invited the Minutemen as their 10th team in football and 18th team in basketball, a deal would be signed in a Massachusetts minute.
 
"UMass is a sustaining football member with no fixed term to the agreement,'' is the way the language is worded.
 
An affiliation with a BCS conference and BCS money is what every non-BCS school wants. It is the kind of deal Kraft wanted.
 
It didn't happen, but UMass came up a winner, and the man who deserves the most credit for that is Bob Kraft.

 
 

Move to Gillette boosts big-time hopes
By Steve Buckley  |   Thursday, April 21, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  College Football
 
FOXBORO -- After decades of trying to get Greater Boston sports fans to come out to Amherst, the UMass athletic program has hit upon a new idea.
 
They are going to bring Amherst to Greater Boston.
 
In a move that is stunning in its simplicity, UMass plans to: a) upgrade its football program to big-boy status, and b) play its "home" games at Gillette Stadium starting in 2012.
 
By "big-boy status," we refer to the hideous sounding Football Bowl Subdivision, which until now had only two other New England entrants -- Boston College and Connecticut.
 
UMass will be joining the Mid-American Conference, and, sure, this is the part where hardened Boston sports fans are supposed to dismiss the MAC as a second-tier conference.
 
But let's think this over. UMass was probably never going to come up with the dough to build a big-time stadium on the Amherst campus. And even if it did build one -- or update the ghastly McGuirk Stadium -- did anybody really think the Minutemen would ever earn a statewide following?
 
If Michigan Stadium is The Big House, McGuirk Stadium is The Little House on the Prairie. But by moving up and moving out -- that is, from Amherst to Foxboro -- UMass gets to play in a first-class facility. And if the Minutemen can establish a program good enough to dominate the MAC and they can bring in the occasional Michigan or Texas A&M for non-conference games, there's no reason why UMass can't match the 44,500 Boston College gets for its home games.
 
And how about an annual UMass-Boston College game? BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo hasn't been keen on playing any of his own home games at Gillette, saying he's concerned about students driving from Chestnut Hill to Foxboro. But an annual UMass-BC game is a logical fit and might, over time, build interest in both schools.
 
"They don't have to schedule us," said UMass athletic director John McCutcheon, "but ... it would stimulate fan interest and rivalries within the same households. You can see over the years what happens in rivalries like Pitt-Penn State and USC-UCLA. ... I hope (BC) would look at it the same way."
 
Reached last night, DeFilippo said he'd "certainly be willing to schedule UMass," probably on a two-for-one basis, meaning two games at BC and one at Gillette.
 
So, who gets hurt here? Well, let's get the big-city obnoxiousness right out in the open: The only people who lose out are the Ma and Pa Kettles from Russell, Blandford, Sunderland and other two-mule western Massachusetts towns who'd make pilgrimages to McGuirk Stadium..
 
And, please, let's not wring our hands over how this move is going to lessen the college experience for the students. It's simple: Those who are hard-core fans will be bused from Amherst to Foxboro. The betting here is that more students will attend games in Foxboro then have watched the Minutemen at McGuirk. And the thousands of UMass alums living in Greater Boston are more likely to attend games at Gillette.
 
Patriots owner Robert Kraft attended yesterday's press conference and brought some genuine news to an otherwise we-all-knew-this-was-coming affair when he dropped this bombshell: "Before I met my sweetheart, I used to date a girl on the Amherst campus. I probably shouldn't have mentioned that. I'll get in trouble for that one."
 
But as Robert Kraft went home last night to explain that little slip to the lovely Myra Kraft, the UMass people went back to Amherst to prepare for a whole new way of life: playing their home games 93 miles from campus.
 
The current agreement between UMass and the Krafts is for five years and is based on revenue sharing. If it doesn't work after five years, it's back to McGuirk Stadium.
 
For now, though, UMass has its long-awaited chance to go big-time in football. Even if they had to go to Foxboro to make it happen.

 
 

UMass goes deep for football glory
Experts, pols: Deal could be huge win
By Hillary Chabot  |   Thursday, April 21, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Coverage
 
Visions of bigger, stronger, faster UMass running backs and linebackers butting heads with their new Division 1-A football rivals in state-of-the-art Gillette Stadium have even skeptical state budget watchdogs cheering the prospect of higher ticket sales and more tuition-paying students.
 
"They get a higher turnout from games and a higher pay-out," said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Association. "Their applications could also increase. It's not just Division 1 football, but it's part of strategy to enhance the reputation of the university."
 
The University of Massachusetts' great leap up in the ranks of college athletics means more football coaches and scholarships that will cost the school an additional $2.5 million annually. But lawmakers said hard-pressed taxpayers won't be footing that bill because the money will come from higher ticket sales.
 
"We're not giving them any additional support," said state Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland), co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. "I think this will be very positive for the university. It will strengthen the University of Massachusetts brand, it will strengthen our athletic components, and makes the university more competitive."
 
University officials, joined by New England Patriots [team stats] owner Robert Kraft, announced that UMass is advancing to the Mid-American Conference, and will play a Football Bowl Subdivision schedule -- a move that was first reported in November by the Herald's Steve Buckley. Among other things, the move gives the university the chance to compete in the coveted, and lucrative, BCS bowl games.
 
Gillette Stadium will be the Amherst team's new home field in a five-year deal beginning in 2012 -- but the school won't be paying rent and instead will share a portion of ticket revenues and concessions.
 
The move is expected to decrease the school's dependence on fees and tax dollars, said John McCutcheon, athletic director at the University of Massachusetts.
 
"Under our current classification, and without the opportunity of new income, we would have increased the amount of needed institutional aid," said McCutcheon, who noted that more than 120,000 UMass alums live within 30 minutes of Foxboro.
 
The news comes as Gov. Deval Patrick and House Speaker Robert DeLeo axed higher education funding in their versions of the state budget by tens of millions of dollars and the state university system is wrestling with a $54 million shortfall.
 
Much of the $2.5 million will pay for new scholarships that will jump from 63 to 85. Other funds will be used to pay for two more coaches and upgrades to the Amherst sports facilities, as well as free rides for women athletes.
 
Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College, cautioned that MAC is "a secondary tier conference" and won't be a major revenue generator.
 
"It's very, very risky and overall seems somewhat reckless," said Zimbalist, who also doubted that fans will make the two-hour trek to Foxboro.

 
 

UMass to join MAC for football in 2012
By Brendan Hall
ESPNBoston.com
 
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts announced Wednesday afternoon it has accepted an invitation into the Mid-American Conference for football.
 
It will begin playing home games beginning in the fall of 2012 at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots.
 
UMass, which currently plays in the Division I FCS subdivision, will play a full FBS and MAC schedule starting in 2012. It will be eligible for bowl games, as well as the conference championship, starting in 2013. This fall, the Minutemen will continue to play in the Colonial Athletic Association, but will not be eligible for postseason play. The university will remain in the Atlantic 10 Conference for all other sports.
 
UMass athletic director John McCutcheon addressed the media for 16 minutes following speeches from chancellor Robert Holub, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, trustee James Karam and state secretary of education and trustee Paul Reville.
 
The move will provide new sources of revenue for Massachusetts since the MAC has a television deal and several bowl agreements. But new costs will include the addition of 22 football scholarships to a total of 85. The current budget of $4.4 million is scheduled to increase to $6.9 million by 2013.
 
Holub said in a few years "we will be using less funds from our budget to support athletics than we do now."
 
Kraft said if it is "a better deal for UMass, then we're happy."
 
"We've come up with a way of sharing [the stadium] so that there's very little downside risk," Kraft said.
 
"That was the prudent thing, and the correct thing. And since we believe that this is going to be very successful, I think it's a chance for everyone to make out well."
 
Kraft entertained the crowd with a little humor, kidding "before I met my sweetheart, I used to date a girl on the UMass campus ... I probably shouldn't have mentioned that, I'll get in trouble for that one," before once again reiterating the Kraft Group's goal at elevating the sport of football at all levels.
 
"We have not seen it happen as rapidly in the college area," Kraft said. "We're really happy that in a small way, we can help to have UMass be the third team to be in the FBS in the New England region. It's a school that has a tremendous tradition, and its academic strengths are really excellent.
 
"We believe this will help attract even more students, and financially become something that will be very strong and be a great cash flow down the road."
 
Steinbrecher echoed the financial sentiments and said the "values of UMass match those of the conference's other member institutions." He also praised the program's "strong tradition," pointing to the school's five league championships in the last 13 seasons, including the 1998 Division I-AA national championship.
 
Several concerns were raised, most significantly the obstacles presented by geography. The addition of UMass now gives the MAC a foothold in 10 of the top 50 television markets in the country. But from the university's standpoint, questions were raised regarding the non-traditional rivals the Minutemen will face in the future.
 
Aside from the UMass campus being roughly 95 miles from Foxborough -- making it a tough commute for students and fans from the western part of the state -- the closest opponents will be the Philadelphia-based Temple University and the University of Buffalo. Those schools are not considered a natural rival like New Hampshire, which played UMass before nearly 33,000 fans at Gillette last fall. NCAA rules require an average stadium attendance of 15,000. Last season, the Minutemen averaged less than 14,000 at their on-campus stadium.
 
Confident the Minutmen will maintain that attendance average, McCutcheon conceded upgrades will need to be done to facilities should they host FBS-caliber games.
 
"We see this venue as an outstanding opportunity for us for a very, very long time," McCutcheon said. "By nature of coming here, we probably have, if not the best collegiate venue in the country, then pretty close. We do want to do some improvements on our stadium on campus ... But the primary home for UMass football for the forseeable future, I think, is going to be here at Gillette Stadium."
 
Moving to the FBS subdivision allows UMass to expand to 85 scholarships, up from the limit of 63 at the FCS level. McCutcheon said there hasn't been a decision as to how to divvy up the extra scholarships that now must be created for women's athletics to stay in compliance with Title IX.
 
Steinbrecher said the league has not decided whether the Minutemen will enter as a member of the East or West division.

 
 

Kraft: 'The Minutemen and Patriots go together'
Apr 20, 2011 5:17pm
 
VIDEO: http://www.necn.com/pages/video?PID=ZqkgX9FKKKkI1Q1dbUMLRuoWmnC3_htR
 
(NECN: Foxboro, Mass.) - The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is moving up in the college football world. The program is becoming a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision, the top level. UMass will join the Mid-Atlantic Conference.
 
The team's on campus stadium doesn't meet the NCAA criteria so they will begin playing at Gillette Stadium in 2012.

 
 

UMass reacts to football changes
Apr 20, 2011 9:30pm
 
(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Foxboro/Amherst, Mass.) - College football is coming to Gillette Stadium. The reason? The UMass-Amherst team is moving up in the college football world. So how do students feel about the 90-plus mile trek from Amherst to Foxboro?
 
Depending who you ask this could be the biggest day in UMass football history which dates back to 1879.
 
The move to FBS could mean untold millions - the ability to recruit top shelf players, national tv exposure, and 22 new scholarships.
 
But not everyone is thrilled.
 
"I think its going to be more difficult to make it to home games because its at Gillette (Stadium)," said UMass sophomore Patrick Reinold, from Stoneham, MA who said he is excited that they will play in Division 1.
 
"Maybe not as many students (will go) as go now because its really close to everyone, you could just walk there but I think a lot of students will still go because it will be really cool," said freshman Samantha Dubner from East Longmeadow, MA.
 
UMass Minutemen football is going D1 or what used to be Division 1 now called the Football Bowl Subdivision, the FBS.
 
"It's going to be a great opportunity for all the players. All the incoming freshmen I'm pretty sure they're excited about it. And this is going to be great for our recruiting for years to come," said redshirt freshman defensive back Edward Saint-Vil of Miami.
 
But there won't be tailgating in Amherst come 2012.
 
Instead of playing games on campus at McGuirk Stadium as they have since 1965, students will have to pack up their cars and make the 93 mile trek on Saturday mornings across the commonwealth to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro for home games, home of the Patriots and soon-to-be Minutemen, a move intending to draw Boston area alums.
 
"We want to be able to reach out to a large alumni base that's within a half hour of this tremendous facility. With any change you're not going to make everybody happy," said Athletic Director John McCutcheon.
 
UConn did the same thing 8 years ago, making the move up.
 
They now play home games off campus in East Hartford at the Rent, Rentschler Field - and oh, by the way, made it to the national stage, a BCS bowl this year, losing in the Fiesta Bowl.
 
But UConn's in the Big East.
 
UMass will be in the Mid-American Conference, the MAC, for football only, playing against what are often called the directional schools in the Midwest, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, plus Buffalo and Temple.
 
Not exactly local rivalries like they had in the Colonial Athletic Association, but defensive end Theo Agnew of Windsor, CT on his way into a team meeting, says that's all OK.
 
"The CAA is a good conference to start with but I think that the MAC just brings a different level of competition that I feel like we can play at. Big opportunities," said Theo Agnew, a red shirt freshman.
 
UMass averaged 13,000 fans at games last season, Gillette holds 68,000.
 
The plan is to bus the students for free across the state for the games as they did when they played one game here last year against UNH and drew 33,000.
 
We asked if this is the longest distance from campus to home games for any college in FBS, the athletic department's public relations staff is looking into it.

 
 

UMass, Gillette cut a big-time football deal
By Jennifer Toland TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
jtoland@telegram.com
 
FOXBORO --  Welcome to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots and, beginning in 2012, the University of Massachusetts football team.
 
Yesterday, UMass officially announced it will elevate its football team to the Football Bowl Subdivision, join the Mid-American Conference, and play its home games at the 68,756-seat stadium.
 
"This is a tremendous day for UMass athletics, and we couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity to raise the exposure of the university and our program to a national level," UMass director of athletics John McCutcheon said. "We have a rich history and we're excited to get on with the future."
 
The Minutemen will play a full FBS and MAC schedule beginning in 2012 and will be eligible for the MAC championship and a bowl berth in 2013.
 
This upcoming season, UMass will remain a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, but won't be eligible for the conference title or NCAA postseason play. The Minutemen's 2011 schedule includes games against 10 teams in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA), including a Sept. 1 game at Holy Cross, and one FBS team, Boston College.
 
The addition of UMass will bring the MAC to 14 teams for football. Like UMass, Temple is a football-only member of the conference, which also includes Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan.
 
With the move to FBS, UMass will increase the number of scholarships from 63 to 85.
 
UMass coach Kevin Morris dug his heels into the Gillette Stadium turf yesterday afternoon.
 
"This is going to be our home," said Morris, who was the WPI coach from 1993-98. "I think we'll be very comfortable here."
 
UMass signed an initial five-year agreement with Gillette Stadium. The parties will share revenue.
 
"We believe this is going to be very successful," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "Hopefully, UMass is going to build a program that's exciting for us in this region of the country."
 
The Minutemen will play all of their 2012 and 2013 home games at Gillette Stadium. After that, UMass will play a minimum of four home games at Gillette through the 2016 season. FBS teams must have an average two-year attendance of at least 15,000.
 
McCutcheon said the school plans to have a new on-campus football training site in place by 2014. Renovations and improvements will be made at McGuirk Stadium, the Minutemen's 17,000-seat, on-campus stadium.
 
"Once the improvements are made, there is a possibility we could move one or two games back there," McCutcheon said, "but the primary home for UMass football for the foreseeable future is Gillette Stadium."
 
Gillette Stadium is 67 miles from the UMass campus in Amherst. Buses will take students to games, McCutcheon said, and school officials will make a concerted effort to build the team's fan base in Eastern Mass.
 
"We want to be the state's team," McCutcheon said.
 
Last fall, UMass played the University of New Hampshire in the first college football game at Gillette Stadium. The teams will meet again this year at Gillette on Oct. 22. Last year's game drew almost 33,000 fans.
 
Other than Temple, an Atlantic 10 basketball foe, UMass has no natural rivals in the MAC. Still, McCutcheon thinks fans will come.
 
"We have to build our fan base beyond what we've had," he said. "I think the venue will lend itself to a certain level of attendance and we want to make it affordable and accessible. It's not going to happen overnight. We have to have some luck scheduling out of conference. We want to get some nonconference opponents that can add some sizzle to the schedule, and I think we can do that."
 
Temple and Notre Dame recently announced a three-game series beginning in 2014.
 
Preliminary discussions have been held with several potential opponents, McCutcheon said, and UMass also seems eager to regularly schedule Boston College and the University of Connecticut, New England's other two FBS teams.
 
Yesterday's announcement was part of a lengthy process. McCutcheon said among the factors that went into the decision were recent changes within the CAA. In recent years, former members Hofstra and Northeastern dropped football, URI is moving to the Northeast Conference, and Villanova is also exploring the move to FBS.
 
"Competitive opportunities within our region were diminishing," McCutcheon said, "and costs were going up with the way the CAA was expanding toward the south without any new income opportunities. This move gives us the opportunity to generate significant new revenue (through ticket sales, guarantee games on the road, and new sponsorship opportunities) and offset some of those expenses."

 
 

UMass Makes Move To FBS Official
Minutemen Will Play At Gillette
By PAUL DOYLE, pdoyle@courant.com
The Hartford Courant
7:25 PM EDT, April 20, 2011
 
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. --
 
On a day when UMass administrators spoke poetically about the future of the school's football program, coach Kevin Morris stood on the field at Gillette Stadium and simply marveled at his extravagant new home.
 
Morris, whose program is upgrading to the Football Bowl Subdivision, talked about selling recruits on the opportunity to play games at the state-of-the-art home of the Patriots. Still, he also acknowledged that his recruiting life will be a lot more complicated because of a few neighbors -- Boston College to the East, UConn to the South.
 
BC and UConn have previously been New England's only FBS programs. UMass will elevate from Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) in 2012, sliding into the Mid-American Conference.
 
At a press conference at Gillette Stadium Wednesday, Morris talked about fostering a rivalry with both UConn and BC on and off the field.
 
"We'll be banging on the same kids," Morris said. "Previously, [UConn] has gotten those kids because they've been in Division I. Now, with us being in Division I, we've got to make a hard play and see if we can keep those kids in [Massachusetts] to stay in-state at UMass, and see if we can get some of the regional kids, too."
 
So when the next Jordan Todman is being recruited out of Massachusetts, UConn coaches will have some regional competition.
 
"We're looking forward to that battle, absolutely," Morris said.
 
After years of contemplating an upgrade, UMass officials have finally decided to make the leap and the decision was driven by the operator of Gillette Stadium. When The Kraft Group showed interest in hosting UMass home games without charging a fee -- the school will share revenue with the venue -- school officials decided it was time to upgrade.
 
While Gillette Stadium is about 95 miles from the UMass campus -- UConn's campus in Storrs is closer to Foxborough -- school officials point to the 120,000 alumni living within 30 minutes of the stadium. UMass played New Hampshire at Gillette Stadium last fall and students filled 26 buses from campus.
 
"It can be a lot of fun on the buses for the students, both ways, as well," athletic director John McCutcheon said. "We're going to do everything we can logically to make it accessible for them."
 
Morris is unfazed by the notion that UMass won't have a true campus home. The team will stay at a hotel adjacent to Gillette Stadium the night before games -- just as UConn does before games at Rentschler Field -- and any loss of campus atmosphere is offset by the luxury of Gillette.
 
"Look at this place," Morris said. "To play in an NFL stadium ... you can't beat this."
 
UMass will play the 2011 season in the FCS as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. In 2012, it will play a full MAC schedule and can be bowl-eligible in 2013.
 
The 2012 season opens at Rentschler Field against UConn. McCutcheon and Morris said they hope that is just the start of what could be a strong rivalry.
 
"We are going to reach out to [BC AD Gene DeFilippo] and [UConn AD Jeff Hathaway] to see if they are interested in building some rivalries," McCutcheon said. "So the gauntlet has been laid."
 
Morris said UConn's ascent to Division I give him hope that UMass can find success immediately in the MAC. He does acknowledge, though, that UConn's recruiting success can be tied to its campus training facility and UMass will need to upgrade its on-campus facilities.
 
The school is fundraising with the goal of improving the football facilities in Amherst. And with revenue from playing at Gillette, the school will renovate McGuirk Alumni Stadium with the idea of playing a few games each season on campus.
 
The contract with The Kraft Group calls for UMass to play all of its home games at Gillette in 2012 and 2013. The Minutemen will play a minimum of four home games in Foxborough through the 2016 season, when the original five-year agreement expires.
 
"We see this venue as an outstanding opportunity for us for a very, very, very long time," McCutcheon said. "By nature of coming here, we probably have, if not the best collegiate venue in the country, it's pretty close. We do want to do some improvement of our stadium on campus so we could move one or two games back there when it's in a position that we could host I-A caliber games. ... But the primary home for UMass football for the foreseeable future is going to be here at Gillette Stadium."
 
UMass won't join the MAC in any other sports, remaining in the Atlantic 10 (18 sports), Hockey East and CAA (men's lacrosse). Chancellor Robert Holub said the upgrade will ultimately result in smaller athletic investment from the school's general fund.
 
And for Patriots owner Robert Kraft, it's an opportunity to open his stadium for six more events per year.
 
"I think it's a win all around," Kraft said.

 
 

On The Fly: A New Look At Curse
By PAUL DOYLE, pdoyle@courant.com
The Hartford Courant
10:37 PM EDT, April 20, 2011
 
Bambino, you're off the hook. Maybe the real Red Sox curse was started when the Cubs threw the 1918 World Series. According to a 1920 court deposition posted on the Chicago History Museum's website, pitcher Eddie Cicotte suggested that members of the 1919 White Sox got the idea of throwing their World Series after talking to members of the 1918 Cubs who said they were offered money to throw their Series against the Red Sox. Cicotte, one of the players banned from baseball, doesn't identify players, but it could be a delicious new chapter in the tortured history of the Red Sox. What if Boston was handed the 1918 title? Maybe that's why they were cursed for the next 86 years and the drought had nothing to do with Babe Ruth. Harry Frazee wasn't such a bad guy after all.
 
Every day, Red Sox fans should thank the baseball gods that John Henry outbid Frank McCourt for the franchise. McCourt, the Boston native, wound up with the Dodgers and is embroiled in a messy divorce from his wife Jamie. He has no money, so Major League Baseball has taken control of day-to-day operations of the Dodgers. Walter O'Malley must be spinning in his grave. ... Barcelona ($7.9 million) and Real Madrid ($7.4 million) have passed the Yankees ($6.8 million) for highest annual average salary, according to research compiled by sportingintelligence.com and published by ESPN The Magazine. The Yankees were No. 1 last year and you know George Steinbrenner loved being No. 1. He'd never stand for his team being passed by soccer teams.
 
The legend of Jed Lowrie grows. After he was hitless in a loss to the A's Tuesday, Lowrie started at third base for the Red Sox Wednesday and was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in a 5-3 win. ... Bartolo Colon won his first game since May 26, 2009 as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 6-2. Colon allowed two runs in 62/3 innings and made a strong pitch to keep his rotation spot.
 
Remember when Robert Kraft was going to bring his NFL team to Hartford, providing UConn with a home that would enable the football program to upgrade to Division I? Yeah, that didn't work out the way we expected. Kraft left Hartford at the altar, but UConn got its stadium on the other side of the Connecticut River and the Huskies have moved seamlessly into the world of big-time college football. Well, Kraft is finally assisting a college football program. UMass is moving up and will play its "home" games at Gillette Stadium. Kraft says UMass can use his powerful brand to attract players. "The Minutemen and the Patriots go together," Kraft said.

 
 

Kraft: UMass to be boon
BY MARK FARINELLA SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
 
FOXBORO - Patriots' owner Robert Kraft expects smooth sailing for the plan to make the University of Massachusetts-Amherst football team a permanent tenant at Gillette Stadium.
 
In fact, the Patriots' patriarch expressed surprise that anyone might object.
 
"I haven't ever heard anyone from Foxboro say, 'Please don't bring events here and generate more revenue,'" Kraft said Wednesday when asked if he thought there might be any reluctance on the part of Foxboro town officials to license a long-term schedule of major college football games at the stadium.
 
The setting for Kraft's remarks was a press conference at Gillette Stadium confirming UMass' membership in the Mid-American Conference and the upgrading of its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA Division I (formerly called Division I-A).
 
As part of that transition, the Minutemen will play almost all of their games at Gillette Stadium for the foreseeable future.
 
The addition of UMass football would add probably five home games a year to a stadium schedule that already includes 10 home games for the Patriots and additional events, including New England Revolution soccer games. This year, seven Revolution home games are scheduled between August and October.
 
Although UMass has considered a bump up to the highest level of football for some time, the move to Gillette Stadium apparently caught a segment of the public by surprise.
 
Some Foxboro residents were quick to express concern about additional traffic and increased demands upon public safety departments in emails or phone calls to newspapers and online news sites.
 
Kraft basically said that Foxboro should be happy to have the new business.
 
"All I know is the town is looking for us to help with a lot of different projects and funding a lot of things, and we invested here," he said. "We have a stadium that's probably used 30 days, if that, a year. We have a lot of capacity. The town of Foxboro benefits every time we have an event here."
 
Asked if he had any discussions with Foxboro town officials about UMass football, Kraft deferred to Dan Murphy, Gillette Stadium vice president in charge of business development.
 
"I've spoken with the Town Manager (Kevin Paicos), public safety officials and all selectmen, and the response has been all positive," Murphy said.
 
Kraft said that offering Gillette Stadium to UMass would help increase New England sports fans' interest in college football.
 
"We have a facility here that, to replicate this facility now in America, and I know it's going on in some other NFL cities, it would cost close to a billion dollars, or in that range," he said. "We have basically offered that to UMass, and hopefully they are going to build a program that's exciting for us in this region.
 
"I think this is one area of the country that is lacking in big college football, and I think it does so much for the university," Kraft said. "You have 120,000 alumni around here, some of whom live right in this region."
 
Initial reports that UMass would spend only two years at Gillette were refuted by the school's athletic director, John McCutcheon. He said that UMass would immediately begin renovations to McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the Amherst campus, and construction of a state-of-the-art training facility to be ready by 2014.
 
But Gillette will be the Minutemen's home base; all of the 2012 and 2013 games will be played there, with a minimum of four home games at Gillette through 2016, after which the agreement may be revisited to include more games in Foxboro.
 
McCutcheon said possibly "one or two games" a season would be played on the Amherst campus after stadium renovations are complete.
 
He also said that in the short time that it has been known that Gillette is the Minutemen's new home, he has received feelers from schools "from all major conferences" about possibly playing non-conference games there.
 
Kraft expressed a desire for UMass to draw full houses at 68,756-seat Gillette, but that might be a stretch. The Minutemen drew an average of 13,005 fans at home last year, but 32,848 attended the "Colonial Clash" game against New Hampshire in Foxboro last October.
 
The NCAA no longer requires that FBS schools have a 30,000-seat facility, but they must prove that they can sell 15,000 tickets per game in a season.
 
The university will begin aggressive marketing in the Boston area, and also develop special season-ticket packages for Western Massachusetts fans being displaced by the move.
 
Students boarded 26 buses to attend the Colonial Clash game, and McCutcheon said similar plans would be in effect in the future.

 
 

A pipedream no more, UMass officially becomes an FBS program
Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 5:30 PM     Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011, 8:17 AM
By Ron Chimelis, The Republican
 
FOXBOROUGH - The elusive vision of a University of Massachusetts football upgrade became reality on Wednesday.
 
At a Gillette Stadium press conference, UMass formally joined the Mid-American Football Conference, entering the Football Bowl Subdivision with bowl eligibility by 2013.
 
Beginning in 2012, the entire home schedule will be played at Gillette. Chancellor Robert C. Holub said the decision to upgrade from the Football Championship Subdivision ended an intensive eight-month process.
It was made only after a "sober consideration'' of the finances involved, he saiid.
 
"Financially, the move will work well from us. We have looked at all aspects carefully, and we believe that in a short few years, we will be using less of our general funds for athletics (than currently),'' Holub said.
 
FBS teams are required to average 15,000 home fans per game or face probation after two years.
 
Neither UMass officials nor New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft would reveal financial details of the five-year agreement between the university and the Kraft Group, which owns the stadium.
 
UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said if the 15,000 level is reached, the venture will be profitable for the university. UMass averaged 13,005 as an FCS team in 2010.
 
With the financial viability of the FCS level in question, especially in the Northeast, McCutcheon contacted the Mid-American Conference last year.
 
The MAC, which includes Temple but is predominantly a Midwestern league, accepted UMass as its 14th member.
 
MAC commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher said the addition brings the MAC into the Boston media market, which ransk No. 5 in the nation, and the Hartford-Springfield market, which is 31st.
 
UMass joins Boston College and Connecticut as New England's only FBS teams. Without naming teams, McCutcheon said he has heard from schools in every major conference, including some of the nation's "most visible'' programs, about playing UMass at Gillette.
 
He also said "the gauntlet has been laid,'' for BC and UConn to develop non-conference rivalries with UMass.
 
UMass has played at Boston College as an FCS rival, and will play at UConn in 2012.
 
"If it's good for the goose to play there, it should be good for the gander to play here. I think would be good for college football,'' McCutcheon said.
 
UMass will play its final 11-game FCS schedule in 2011. The FBS announcement would allow a 12th game to be added, but that will be difficult at this late date.
 
Because it is moving up, UMass will not be eligible for the FCS playoffs this year. The Minutemen will play a full, eight-game MAC schedule in 2012, and has already scheduled a non-conference game at UConn.
That leaves three dates to filled by either FCS or FBS opponents. UMass will not become FBS bowl-eligible until 2013.
 
UMass must add 22 football scholarships, raising the program's level from 63 to 85, and a commensurate number of women's athletic scholarships in other sports to maintain gender equity.
 
McCutcheon said that process is already underway. He said an expansion of the fan base and sponsor support will be needed to meet the goal of reducing the reliance on state funding within five years.
 
Profitable scheduling of non-conference home and away games will also be geared toward that goal.
Last year, a UMass-New Hampshire game at Gillette drew 32,848. About 60 percent were estimated to be UMass fans.
 
McCutcheon said the novelty of that first-time event was a factor, but that it provided an eye-opener to the potential of UMass football in Foxborough.
 
Formed in 1946, the MAC has primary agreements with the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, the GoDaddy.com Bowl and uDrove Humanitarian Bowl.
 
The football deal does not affect UMass' Atlantic 10 membership in other sports. As part of the agreement, the men's and women's basketball teams will each play two home and two away non-conference games against MAC opponents.
 
Holub called it "only fitting'' that a world-class university play the the highest level of NCAA football.
"It is part of our ever-greater move to national prominence,'' he said.

 
 

3-point stance: Tide seeking proofreader
By Ivan Maisel
 
1.             Alabama is among the top public universities in National Merit Scholars, none of whom works as proofreaders in the athletic department. Last season, the Crimson Tide printed football tickets for a game against Mississipi (sic) State. Last Saturday, with great fanfare, the athletic department unveiled a plaque honoring the 2009 national champions. Engraved on the plaque are the titles awarded the Tide, including the "McArthur Trophy." That would be the MacArthur Trophy, named for General Douglas MacArthur. As every Merit Scholar knows, spell-check is not the same as proofreading.
 
2.             The Big 12 had relatively little time to create a 10-team schedule for this season. A lot of shifting had to be done after Nebraska and Colorado left. And the schedule isn't finished yet. But the league authorized Texas Tech to release its schedule, and the Red Raiders got no breaks. Their open date is the second week, and they play the following five-game stretch from Oct. 22 to Nov. 19: at Oklahoma, Iowa State, at Texas, Oklahoma State, at Missouri. Here's hoping it gets better for Tech in 2012.
 
3.             UMass is moving to the FBS, thanks to an invitation from the Mid-American Conference. The Minutemen will play their home games at Gillette Stadium, 93 miles away from campus. It's a smart choice. Patriots owner Robert Kraft won't charge the school rent, and there are 120,000 alumni in the Boston area. Of greater interest: what does it mean for Boston College, UConn and Syracuse, the northeastern most schools in the FBS? There's only so much talent up here.

 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UMass football to join MAC in 2012
The Associated Press
Posted Apr 21, 2011 @ 12:00 AM
 
FOXBORO --
The University of Massachusetts has work to do before it becomes the 14th football member of the Mid-American Conference in 2012.
 
At a news conference yesterday at Gillette Stadium, where the Minutemen will play their home games in '12 and '13, UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said the school will invest in new training facilities and possibly the renovation of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, an on-campus stadium where the team averaged 13,005 fans last season.
 
Gillette is about 90 miles from UMass' Amherst campus.
 
The NCAA will have to formally approve the move of UMass from Division I's championship subdivision to its top-tier bowl subdivision. To play major college football, the program needs to meet certain average attendance targets and increase the number of scholarships it gives for football.
 
"We have to build our fan base, promote season tickets, work on our non-conference schedule," McCutcheon said.
 
The move will provide new sources of revenue for Massachusetts since the MAC has a television deal and several bowl agreements. But new costs will include the addition of 22 football scholarships to a total of 85. The current budget of $4.4 million is scheduled to increase to $6.9 million by 2013.
 
UMass is currently a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and will remain there in 2011 but will not be eligible for postseason play.
 
In 2012, it will be eligible to play in the MAC title game and bowls.
 
Most MAC schools are in Ohio and Michigan. Buffalo and Temple, from Philadelphia, are also in the league.
 
MAC commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher said the addition of Massachusetts "brings value to the Mid-American Conference," noting the Boston television market is ranked fifth in the country and the Hartford-Springfield market is 31st.
 
UMass becomes the third FBS teams in New England, joining Boston College and Connecticut.
 
McCutcheon said he hoped Boston College, which plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Connecticut, which plays in the Big East, would add Massachusetts to their non-conference schedules.
 
"I think it would add fan interest and rivalries," he said.
 
Massachusetts is scheduled to play at Boston College in 2011.
 
McCutcheon said schools from several major conferences have expressed interest in playing at Gillette, which seats 68,756. Massachusetts will play at least four home games a year there between 2014 and 2016 without paying rent but sharing in the revenue with the Patriots.
 
UMass played for the FCS title in 2006, but the last two seasons the Minutemen have gone 11-11 under coach Kevin Morris.

 
 

More on UMass move to the MAC
By Andrea Adelson
 
Here is a little bit more on the news today that Massachusetts will join the MAC for the 2012 season as a football-only member, following a conference call with commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher and UMass athletic director John McCutcheon.
 
Steinbrecher said he felt the addition adds nothing but value to the league, especially since it allows the MAC to reach into the footprint of Boston and Hartford/Springfield. It also allows the league to balance its divisions with its 14 members. Teams will play the six members of their division, plus two out-of-division games. Division alignment has yet to be decided, but it will be discussed at the upcoming spring meetings.
 
As for when UMass came into the picture, Steinbrecher said the idea of expansion was first brought up last year at the spring meetings. Discussions with the school lasted eight or nine months. But there is little in the way of wanting to expand to 16 teams. "Fourteen is a pretty good number," he said.
 
Why would UMass make the jump now, especially with the added financial cost of moving from FCS to FBS? McCutcheon explained the goal was always to move up. "All the studies that were done as far back as 1990 indicated as the state's flagship campus, this is the level we should be competing at," he said. He also added that the instability of the Colonial Athletic Association played a role as well, with Northeastern and Hofstra both dropping football and Rhode Island leaving. But more than that perhaps was the opportunity to play games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home to the Patriots. Even though it is 90 miles away from campus, the stadium allows UMass to reach many of the alumni living in the area. The school also got a good deal to play there: no rental fee and revenue sharing that is "beneficial" to UMass. It signed a five-year deal and will most likely play all its home games there the first two years of that contract while renovations are done to its stadium on campus.
 
How does this impact students who want to attend games? McCutcheon pointed to the success of the New Hampshire game UMass played there last season, when 26 busloads of students went to the game. He said they will have the same plan in place for those students who want to attend games at Gillette. "We're going to do everything we can to make this a great experience for them and get that support as we move forward," he said.
 
In terms of the greater cost, McCutcheon said the football budget will increase from $4.4 million to $7 million with the move in the next three to four years. He anticipates getting the extra money through increased ticket sales and sponsorship money, as well as guarantee games. "Even though the overall operating budget will surpass $7 million a year, we feel it's not only going to come from outside revenues but also reduce the amount we get from the university's general fund (currently $850,000). We're not naive about this. There's a lot of work we have ahead of us."
 
UMass will also spend money to upgrade its training facilities. The press box at the 17,000-seat, on-campus stadium will be renovated, and plans have been drawn up to add additional seating. But McCutcheon said they want to wait and see how it goes at Gillette before making a decision on whether to expand the stadium.

 
 

Gillette had to be part of UMass football move, but Western Mass. is left behind
Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7:04 PM     Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011, 8:33 AM
By Ron Chimelis, The Republican
 
We will now see if the University of Massachusetts really is State U.
 
"We want to be the state's team. Maybe that's a little presumptuous,'' UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said of his team's move to Gillette Stadium, beginning in 2012.
 
Why is that presumptuous? UMass is making a bold but well-conceived bid to remove its perennial role as the afterthought of Division I athletics to Boston College in its own state.
 
Sadly, this comes at the cost of leaving its most loyal fans, who have trundled into McGuirk Alumni Stadium since 1965, thumbing a ride at the end of the highway.
 
Many will not make the four-hour round trip. McCutcheon knows this.
 
"I haven't heard a lot of negative feedback, but I am sure there is some. We have to look at the larger picture, though,'' he said.
 
"With every change, we won't make everybody happy.''
 
Without Gillette, the Football Bowl Subdivision move would not have happened. And without the FBS, there might be no UMass football down the road, if its current level of play collapses under its own expense.
 
More than a few long-time fans will likely skip the 190-mile round trip for home games. UMass is counting on its massive Greater Boston alumni fan base to surpass such abandonment.
 
The university would like an entirely upgraded campus training facility by 2014. But the days of campus football games will end this fall.
 
With Gillette as the carrot, UMass has realisitc visions of playing non-conference home games against some of the nation's bigger programs. Those teams could not find Amherst on a map, and wouldn't try.
 
There are other benefits. UMass made $550,000 by playing at Michigan last year.
 
As an FBS and not an FCS opponent, similar opportunities will multiply.
 
Even for its Mid-American Conference games, UMass believes it can do better than the 17,000 capacity of McGuirk, which could handle the FBS requirement of a 15,000 average minimum, but leaves no room for growth.
 
Still, if Western Massachusetts fans feel left behind, I don't blame them. First, the Basketball Hall of Fame moves its tournament to Connecticut.
 
Now the Minutemen are going Boston on us. But if the FBS move was to be made, Gillette had to be part of it.
 
In the money-driven world of college football, the Amherst campus would not have been taken seriously, but the Patriots palace will be.
 
This will test the loyalty of 413 area-code fans to their favorite team. They must decide if their devotion is worth 190 miles and $4.20 in tolls.
 
It will also test whether UMass really can be State U in the Bay State, but it was a choice that had to be made.

 
 

UMass makes its move to DivisionI-FBS, MAC
By Howard Herman, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Updated: 04/21/2011 06:38:20 AM EDT
Thursday April 21, 2011
 
FOXBOROUGH -- University of Massachusetts-Amherst chancellor Robert C. Holub summed up the school's decision to move up to the top rung of Division I football with one sentence.
 
"Playing at the top level of college football is consistent with our role as the flagship campus of the Commonwealth," Holub said on Wednesday as the University announced it was moving to the Division I-FBS Mid-American Conference.
 
The announcement was made at Gillette Stadium, where the Minutemen's home football games will be played effective in 2012.
 
Massachusetts has been examining moving to the Bowl Championship Subdivision from the Division I-Football Championship Subdivision for years. The FCS is the former Division I-AA, a division where UMass won a national championship in 1998.
 
Holub, UMass athletic director John McCutcheon, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and MAC commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher all attended the press conference announcing the agreement between the school and the league.
 
UMass will play one more season in the Division I-FCS Colonial Athletic Association, but will not be eligible to play for a CAA title or a berth in the FCS tournament. The Minutemen will play a full FBS and MAC schedule in 2012 and will be eligible for the MAC Championship and bowl participation in 2013. UMass is the 14th team in the Mid-American Conference, and joins Temple as one of two football-only teams in the conference.
 
"This broadens the conference's footprint by providing access to the MAC into Boston, the nation's No. 5 media market," MAC commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher said. "This will also increase the value of the MAC with the conference's media rights holders.
 
"In the final analysis, the addition of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst brings value to the Mid-American Conference."
 
The centerpiece of this move is the decision by Kraft and the Kraft Group to offer UMass the use of Gillette Stadium without rent. That does not mean the school gets the stadium free of charge. There is a revenue-sharing agreement between the University of Massachusetts and the Kraft Group, so the higher the attendance, the more the Krafts will receive in payments.
 
In remarks to the media, Kraft said he and his family have wanted to expand football throughout New England at all levels. The Patriots owner said this is one way to accomplish that goal.
 
"We have not seen it happen as rapidly in the college area," said Kraft. "I'm really hoping that in a small way, we can help to have UMass be the third team in the FBS in the New England region."
 
UMass played one game at Gillette Stadium in 2010, drawing 32,848 fans for the game against New Hampshire. It was a crowd the UMass athletic director thought was 60-40 for UMass. The Minutemen will play UNH here again this year.
 
In the short term, the cost to the university will primarily be in additional scholarships and coaching positions. There are 63 scholarships at the FCS level and 85 at the FBS level. In addition, the university will increase women's athletic scholarships equally.
 
McCutcheon said he didn't know how those additional scholarships would be divided up.
 
According to figures released by the university, the school spent $4.4 million on the sport in 2010. By the 2013 season, the football budget is anticipated to be $6.9 million.
 
"We have looked at all aspects of this transition to the FBS very carefully," Holub said. "We believe that after an initial investment, and in a very few years, we will be using less funds from our general budget to support athletics than we do now."
 
McCutcheon said that increased payouts from the MAC's television contracts with ESPN and more games against Division I-FBS teams from many of the major conferences will increase the athletic budget. The Mid-American Conference has a contract with ESPN through the 2016-17 season. The deal includes a minimum of 15 nationally-televised games on the various ESPN networks.
 
As an FCS team, UMass has played one game a year against BCS teams, including recent matchups against Michigan, Kansas State and Texas Tech. This year, UMass will play at Boston College on Sept. 24.
 
The move to the MAC, according to McCutcheon, has piqued the interest of many BCS teams for the so-called "guarantee" games.
 
"Over the past few weeks, as this possibility has gotten more and more public, the amount of expressed interest from some of the most visible programs in the country to schedule us and play in this most magnificent venue is astounding," he said.
 
Down the road, McCutcheon said that improvements will be made to football facilities on campus. Those improvements could include a football support building, an improved press box at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and other capital improvements.
 
The key to success, McCutcheon said, is to win games on the football field and get more people to come to UMass games.
 
"We need to build our fan base," the athletic director said. "We have several outstanding programs regarding the promotion of season tickets. We're going to recognize our longtime supporters out in Western Massachusetts but we have special programs to entice and bring in fans from the Eastern portion of the state as well."

 
 

UMass football officially announces move to FBS
By: DAN GIGLIOTTI | April 21, 2011 | ShareThis
 
The University of Massachusetts officially announced its move to the Football Bowl Subdivision during a press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
 
UMass, which previously played for the Football Championship Subdivision in the Colonial Athletic Association, joins the Mid-American Conference on a transitional basis for football only.
 
The announcement was made by Chancellor Robert C. Holub, who expressed how the move would gain UMass greater national recognition.
 
"This move advances our aspirations to assume our rightful place in the upper echelon of national public research universities," said Holub. "Our move to the top of the college football world now becomes part of our overall move towards ever greater national prominence."
 
Joined by UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon, MAC Commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium, Holub discussed the financial and logistic ramifications of the move.
 
"We have looked at all aspects of this transition to the FBS very carefully and we believe, after an initial investment and, in a very few years, we will be using less funds from our general budget to support athletics than we do now," said Holub.
 
Over the next two years, UMass will be in a transitional period and its full membership with the MAC will be contingent on home attendance and its adherence to scholarship and scheduling requirements, said Steinbrecher.
 
According to McCutcheon, UMass will play its entire home schedule during the 2012 and 2013 seasons at Gillette Stadium.
 
"We do want to do some improvements in our stadium on campus," said McCutcheon. "There's a chance that we could move one or two games back there when it's in a position where we can host [Division] 1-A caliber games. The primary home for UMass football for the foreseeable future, I think, is going to be here at Gillette Stadium."
 
Involvement in the FBS will require UMass to average an attendance of 15,000 fans per home game. McGuirk Stadium, the home field of UMass football since 1965, holds 17,000 fans at full capacity.
 
Although McCutcheon did not rule out the possibility of playing a home game at McGuirk Stadium in the 2012 season, he does believe it is unlikely without renovations to the current facilities.
 
"To compete adequately at the FBS level, we need to have adequate training facilities on campus," said McCutcheon. "That will be the focus of our fundraising efforts over the next several years. By the 2014 season, we hope to have in place on campus a new training facility for football that will be on par with anybody in the conference and several across the country."
 
The deal to make Foxboro the Minutemen's new football home was made with Kraft, who said he is just as interested in benefiting UMass as profiting himself.
 
"Obviously, if we attract crowds similar to [those that] would go to an NFL game, that would work out well for everybody," said Kraft. "That's why we're doing this. To try to help UMass become big time, without the University having to invest in the capital assets to be able to play big time."
 
McCutcheon added, "We need to sell tickets, we need to generate more income from sponsorships and we need to schedule smart with our [non-]conference games and generate income revenue from guarantees and those are really the primary income sources that will make this [work]."
 
UMass will begin playing a full MAC schedule in 2012, but will be ineligible for a conference title or bowl consideration until 2013. It will also not be eligible for postseason play during the 2011 season.
 
Currently, the MAC has five different bowl agreements through the 2013 season in The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, GoDaddy.com Bowl, uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl, Ticket City Bowl (2012) and the New Mexico Bowl (2013).
 
The MAC also has a national television contract with ESPN that requires a minimum of 15 regular-season games be played in addition to the MAC Football Championship Game.
 
With the addition of UMass, the MAC has 14 members in its football conference.
 
UMass will be required to schedule eight games against conference opponents, including six games inside its division and two games outside of it. According to Steinbrecher, divisional alignments have not been determined yet, but will be discussed at the league's "spring meetings" at the end of May.
 
As part of the agreement, UMass will schedule four games for men's and women's basketball against MAC opponents.
 
UMass will play its 11-game regular season schedule in 2011. The potential is now open to add another game against an FBS foe but, according to McCutcheon, it is unlikely it will happen this late in the offseason.
 
As part of the NCAA requirements, UMass will increase its number of football scholarships from 63 to 85. According to Title IX, that means more scholarships will need to be given towards women's athletic programs.
 
Holub is confident that, eventually, the move will end with the university spending less funds from its general budget to support athletics.
 
"Obviously, we get more revenue from the MAC than the CAA, so we're doing things on a comparative basis," said Holub. "What things will look like in five years in the conference that we're in and what things are going to look like in five years in the MAC. Doing that comparison, we feel that [with this move] we will be contributing less from campus funds to athletics than we do now."

 
 

UMass Announces Move to FBS, MAC
UMass announces elevation to FBS Football and invitation to MAC
3:50am
 
The University of Massachusetts announced today that it will be elevating its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and will become a football member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The formal announcement was made at Gillette Stadium, where the Minutemen will be playing their home games. UMass will play a full FBS and MAC schedule beginning with the 2012 football season and by 2013 be eligible for the MAC championship and bowl participation. In 2011, UMass will continue to participate in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) but will not be eligible NCAA postseason play according to their press release.
 
"We seek greatness in all we do at UMass," said University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor Robert C. Holub. "We promise national excellence and prominence to the citizens of the Commonwealth, and we deliver on that promise. Moving to the FBS is consistent with our upward trajectory, as Minuteman football becomes part of our overall move toward national prominence."
 
Playing at the FBS level and joining the MAC provide extensive opportunities for UMass and all of its constituencies to grow. Participation in FBS football is in line with the institution's role as the flagship campus of the Commonwealth. UMass is the largest public research university in all of New England and features an expansive alumni base. Being an FBS member is a more accurate reflection of the
school's presence in Massachusetts and the region.
 
"We feel the time is right for this landmark decision of UMass football elevating to the FBS level," said University of Massachusetts Athletic Director John McCutcheon. "Playing in the FBS is where UMass should be positioned as the flagship campus of the state system. The exposure and visibility that comes from playing on a national level will be a tremendous asset not only for athletics, but for the entire university. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to join the Mid-American Conference and develop relationships and rivalries with its members. To have the opportunity to play games at a state-of-the-art facility like
Gillette Stadium really is one of the key elements that makes this transition possible."
 
Since its inception in 1946, the Mid-American Conference has progressively grown and developed into one of the most aggressive Division I conferences in the country. One of only 11 FBS conferences, the league features 12 full membership schools and will now be home to 14 teams in football including UMass and the Minutemen's long-time rival Temple. The league holds three primary bowl agreements: the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, the GoDaddy.com Bowl and the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl. It also has several secondary bowl agreements. The league has a national television deal with ESPN that was recently extended through the 2016-17 school year.
 
"The University of Massachusetts will add to the academic stature of the Mid-American Conference and bring a strong tradition and depth to our conference," said Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. "The UMass football program will add quality to our conference's football programs and balance our divisions. In addition, this addition allows our conference to expand our footprint into New England and into the Boston and Hartford/Springfield markets."
 
UMass will be playing all of its 2012 and 2013 home games at Gillette Stadium, a world-class facility with seating for 68,756. UMass games at Gillette will be among the most unique and special experiences in all of college football. Playing near Boston will enable UMass to engage its large alumni and fan base in Eastern Massachusetts. Gillette Stadium offers first-rate amenities including luxury suites and club-level seating, and features two of the largest high definition video boards in the world.
 
"It's fitting for the Minutemen to play in the venue that is synonymous with New England football," said Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group. "We've talked for many years about bringing top-level college football to Gillette Stadium, and with UMass elevating to the FBS, hosting its games here is a natural progression. We've worked closely with UMass on this partnership and will continue to do so to help grow the UMass football program and interest in college
football in New England."
 
UMass has a long and storied football history dating to the program's inception in 1879. The maroon and white have captured 22 conference championships and appeared in eight NCAA FCS/I-AA Tournaments. Program highlights include winning the 1998 I-AA National Championship, playing in three national championship games and appearing in the postseason three times in the last decade. In 2010 UMass had seven alumni playing in the National Football League including second-round NFL Draft selection Vladimir Ducasse of the New York Jets.
 
UMass will go through two years as a transitional member of FBS, the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The NCAA would make a formal announcement of UMass' admission to FBS in the Summer of 2013 after the program successfully meets the specified measures over its two transitioning years. The primary criteria center around average attendance, an increase in scholarships from 63 to 85 and specific scheduling requirements.
 
UMass will continue to maintain its current conference affiliations for its other 20 athletic programs. As part of this agreement with the MAC, the UMass men's and women's basketball teams will play four non-conference games (two home and two away) against opponents from the MAC.

 
 

UMass football to play games in Foxboro
Program making move up to Mid-American Conference
Updated: Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011, 10:02 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011, 4:01 PM EDT
 
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WWLP) - It's a two hour drive from the UMass campus to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough; The new home of the Umass football team beginning in 2012.
 
Umass is making the transition to the Football bowl subdivision, formerly called Division I-A . In 2012 the Minutemen will become members of the Mid-American Conference for football only. In 2013, they will become bowl eligible.
 
UMass will play all of its home games in 2012 and 2013 at Gillette Stadium; it's part of a five year deal. From 2014 to 2016, UMass will play a minimum of four home games at Gillette. After that, Gillette Stadium will be an option for the future; Foxborough could become the Minutemen's permanent home
 
A news release sent to 22News by UMass read: "Playing near Boston will enable UMass to engage its large alumni and fan base in eastern Massachusetts. Gillette Stadium offers first-rate amenities, including luxury suites and club-level seating, and features two of the largest high-definition video boards in the world."
 
UMass is not paying rent to play at Gillette Stadium. The University and the Kraft family who own Gillette Stadium, have worked out a revenue sharing deal.
 
The agreement also means that the UMass men's and women's basketball teams will play four non-conference games against MAC opponents.

 
 


UMass football to join FBS, Mid-American Conference

By Jack Carey, USA TODAYUpdated 11h 36m ago

 

With athletics director John McCutcheon saying the time is right to make the move after about two decades of on-again, off-again studies, the University of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that its football program will jump from the NCAA's championship subdivision to the bowl subdivision starting in 2012. It will join the Mid-American Conference and play most of its home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

 

The home of the New England Patriots is about 90 miles from the UMass campus in Amherst, but McCutcheon said the school plans to bus students to games in Foxborough, which is within a half-hour drive of about 120,000 of the school's alumni.

 

UMass, which remains in the Atlantic 10 in other sports, will be eligible for the MAC championship and the league's affiliated bowl games starting in 2013. It will play one more season of FCS games in the Colonial Athletic Association.

 

The move will increase the MAC's football membership to 14. It will also necessitate an increase in the UMass operating budget from $4.4 million annually to about $7 million, McCutcheon said. He anticipates increased ticket sales, sponsorships and media deals will help with the added expenses, but admitted the school has a lot of work ahead.

 

"This was a perfect storm of things coming together at the same time," McCutcheon said of the decision to move to the sport's highest level. "What's different this time is the opportunity to play in this facility and avoid the huge capital investment up front," that a new stadium would necessitate. "All the studies for 20 years said we should be at this level. It was a matter of how to make it work."

 

McCutcheon also pointed out that the CAA is undergoing major changes, which would impact UMass if it stayed. Rivals Northeastern and Hofstra recently dropped football, Rhode Island is leaving for the Northeast Conference, and Villanova might move to the Big East. As a result, the CAA is becoming a more Southern-based conference, which would affect UMass' travel costs.

 

McCutcheon said the school does not have to pay a rental fee to use Gillette Stadium, but instead will have a revenue-sharing agreement that he called "beneficial" to UMass. He would not go into details.

 

The school's 17,000-seat on-campus stadium will undergo some renovations, including a press box reconstruction and a new training facility, locker rooms and coaches offices. Capacity can be expanded, McCutcheon said, but for the time being, that is not in the plans.

 

The stadium could be used for weeknight games when the school might not want large numbers of students to travel to Foxborough, but Gillette will be the venue of choice otherwise.

 

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said negotiations with Massachusetts have been ongoing for about nine months. The expansion broadens the MAC's footprint, allowing access to the Boston and Hartford/Springfield areas and giving it a presence in 10 of the nation's top 50 markets, he said.

 

UMass will also will play four men's and four women's basketball games each season against MAC opponents.

 

"At the end of the day, this brought value," to the MAC, Steinbrecher said.

 

Divisional alignment for MAC football has not been decided, he said, but will be discussed at the conference's spring meetings.

 

Former UMass athletics director Bob Marcum, who was at the school when preliminary studies for such a jump were undertaken, said Wednesday the decision was "a move in the right direction for the football program. They got it done, and once they made the decision to do it, I always thought UMass would do it the right way," said Marcum, who was also AD at Marshall when the Thundering Herd were in the MAC.

 

"That's a good league with lots of fine schools," he said. "I think the response will be good."

 

 

FOOTBALL: Massachusetts makes move to MAC official
Conference now has 14 members; realignment to come
By Tyler Poslosky
Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011 02:04
 
The expansion of the Mid-American Conference was completed Wednesday afternoon as the University of Massachusetts was added as a football-only member.
 
Massachusetts will start conference play in 2012 and will be eligible for MAC championship games and bowl games beginning in 2013.
 
The move expands the conference to 14 members.
 
In a press release, MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said the move will bring more competition to the conference.
 
"The University of Massachusetts will add to the academic stature of the Mid-American Conference and bring a strong tradition and depth to our conference," Steinbrecher said. "The UMass football program will add quality to our conference's football programs and balance our divisions. In addition, [this move] allows our conference to expand our footprint into New England and into the Boston and Hartford/Springfield markets."
 
Over the past 13 years, the Minutemen have captured five conference championships as a Football Championship Subdivision program.
 
"We feel the time is right for this landmark decision of UMass football elevating to the [Football Bowl Subdivision] level," University of Massachusetts Athletic Director John McCutcheon said in a press release. "We are extremely excited about the opportunity to join the Mid-American Conference and develop relationships and rivalries with its members."
 
Massachusetts will play its home games at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.
"Having the opportunity to play [there] is one of the key factors that makes this transition possible," McCutcheon said.

 
 

McGuirk No More
Posted: Apr 20, 2011 6:49 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2011 6:57 PM
by: Shannon Hegy
 
AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) -- Word is quickly spreading on the UMASS campus that the school has sacked a time-honored Fall tradition.
 
"It's about being with your friends," said UMass junior, Devon Bell.  "It's going to your school's football game.  It's school pride."
 
The UMass football team is moving all of its home games to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro starting in the Fall of 2012.  The move comes as the football program elevates to the Football Bowl Subdivision and becomes a member of the Mid-American Conference.
 
UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon said in a press conference Wednesday, "Playing in the FBS is where UMass should be positioned as the flagship campus of the state system.  The exposure and visibility that comes from playing on a national level will be a tremendous asset not only for athletics, but for the entire university."
 
Tailgating -- heading to the stadium to hang out with friends and get pumped up before the game -- is what students say they'll miss the most.
 
"I think it's fantastic for the team that they get to play at Gillette Stadium every weekend," said senior Sean Courtney, "but for the students, it's not that great because we're not going to be able to tailgate."
 
And what about local businesses like Rafters Sports Bar?  A big weekend game for them was like a winning touchdown.
 
"It's only five or six home games, but those weekends are busy without a doubt," said Rafters manager, Yvette Rowanstern.  "The things that'll hurt are things like homecoming where you don't have those alumni coming back.  That's what's definitely going to hurt."
 
The news especially hurts for freshmen and sophomores who will still be in school when the change goes into effect.
 
"All of our school spirit's here," said sophomore Jade Marszalek.  "We get really excited for the games.  Everyone hangs out together, so it stinks."
 
Plus the fact that it's a two hour drive to the new home for their boys of Fall.
 
"I don't think I want to make the drive to go all the way there," said sophomore Kristen Armstrong.  "It takes away the school spirit if you're taking away everything from the campus."
 
"Obviously now they can get more recruits and more television time," said sophomore Brendan Bodi, "but I just think that if there were maybe some plans to build a bigger stadium, keeping it closer to students, that would be better."
 
But unlike the game of football, these students can't throw the red flag and challenge the play.  They just have to hope that their beloved tradition comes back home.

 
 

UMass arrival brings challenge
Mid-American Conference must decide schedule, division alignment.
By Pete Conrad, Staff Writer
12:34 AM Thursday, April 21, 2011
 
OXFORD -- Now that the University of Massachusetts football program has agreed to join the Mid-American Conference for the 2012 season, there looms still another change which will affect Miami University.
 
The MAC must decide how its two football divisions will be realigned.
 
UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon announced at a press conference Wednesday that his school would become the 14th football member of the MAC.
 
The addition of UMass will give the conference two seven-team divisions. Currently, seven teams are in the East Division and six are in the West.
 
According to Miami Athletic Director Brad Bates, "What ultimately will happen is that each team will have six division games and two crossover games.
 
"I really see it two ways," he said. "For Miami's history and tradition, we want to play the best teams as well as continue our historical rivalries. From the marketing and creative side of me, I want to see which is in the best interests of Miami and the Mid-American Conference."
 
Bates added that it isn't set in stone that the MAC will make only a minor adjustment while keeping its East-West format.
 
"Anything is on the table for discussion," he said.
 
If the MAC does keep its divisional split between East and West, UMass would almost certainly be a part of the East Division. In that case, at least one team from the East would have to move to the West Division.
Such a move could involve the RedHawks. The campuses of Miami and Bowling Green both are located on the western flank of the East Division.
 
Bates said the addition of UMass should help the MAC because "they're making a significant financial and capital investment in their football program.
 
"From the Miami perspective," he said, "it expands our footprint for fans and alums back to the northeast."
 
UMass will play its home games in 2012 and '13 at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.
According to the Associated Press, McCutcheon said the school will invest in new training facilities and possibly the renovation of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, an on-campus stadium where the team averaged 13,005 fans last season. Gillette is about 90 miles from UMass' Amherst campus.
 
The NCAA will have to formally approve the move of UMass from Division I's championship subdivision to its top-tier bowl subdivision, the AP story said. To play major college football, the program needs to meet certain average attendance targets and increase the number of scholarships it gives for football.
In 2012, it will be eligible to play in the MAC title game and bowls.

 
 

UMASS makes move to MAC
Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:10 pm | Updated: 11:37 pm, Wed Apr 20, 2011.
Andrew Singer |
 
Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and University of Massachusetts Athletic Director John McCutcheon announced the addition of UMass' football program to the MAC on Wednesday afternoon.
 
The duo held a teleconference at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL's New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. to make the announcement. Steinbrecher said the Minutemen will begin playing games in the MAC in 2012, but will not be eligible for MAC Championships or bowl games until 2013. The Minutemen are likely to be in the MAC's Eastern Division, while Bowling Green may move to the Western, giving each division seven teams.
 
UMass joins Temple as the only football-only members of the MAC, as the rest of UMass' sports will remain in the Atlantic 10. McCutcheon said he has no plans on pursuing membership in the MAC for any other sports.
 
The Minutemen will call Gillette Stadium home for much of its first five years in the MAC. At least five of UMass' home games in each of the first two years will be played at Gillette Stadium. At least four games will be played in Foxborough the following three years. The current home of the Minutemen, Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium, will undergo renovations until the 17,000-person stadium is MAC-ready in the eyes of McCutcheon.
 
"We will be doing some improvements to McGuirk stadium, improving the training facility there, locker rooms, weight rooms, meeting rooms," McCutcheon said. "We are also going to move forward with a reconstruction of our press box. The initial improvements will not significantly improve our seating capacity. They will simply make things more accustomed to a Division-I level."
 
McCutcheon described the financial agreement between Gillette Stadium and the Minutemen as "mutually beneficial," as the two parties agreed on a revenue-sharing system.
 
Many questioned the MAC's motive to add a Football Championship Sub-Division (FCS) team to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Steinbrecher said that adding a 14th team to the conference had been a priority of the conference, and that UMass' FCS Championship in 1998, and its two finals appearances in 1978 and 2006, put it over the top.
 
Steinbrecher also believes UMass represents a good opportunity for the MAC to expand its brand.
 
"The Boston media market was a big factor," Steinbrecher said. "We will be able to move into the Boston area. We believe the team increases the conference value."
 
McCutcheon said UMass' annual football budget will increase from $4.4 million to $7 million in the following years due to its move to the MAC. The Minutemen had previously been members of the Colonial Athletic Association, and were coming off a 6-5 season in 2010 under head coach Kevin Morris.

 
 

UMass is 'excellent addition' to MAC for football
DAVID GORICKI
The Detroit News
 
The Mid-American Conference welcomed Massachusetts on Wednesday, adding the Minutemen to form a 14-team league in football starting with the 2012 season.
 
UMass will compete in football only, staying in the Atlantic 10 in other sports. The Minutemen will begin playing league games in 2012, then become eligible to compete for the MAC title and play in the league's affiliated bowl games, including the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, in 2013.
 
The MAC and UMass held a joint press conference Wednesday to make the announcement. The Minutemen will play their home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., also the home of the New England Patriots. But don't expect them to have much student fan support; the stadium is 90 miles from campus in Amherst.
 
"We feel UMass is an excellent addition to the Mid-American Conference," MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said during a conference call.
 
He said teams will play an eight-game conference schedule, playing six games from opponents in their own divisions, and then two from the other.
 
Steinbrecher said MAC divisions will be realigned for the 2012 season, but they have not been finalized. The current divisions:
 
West: Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan.
 
East: Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami, Ohio, Temple.
 
"We're excited to be presented with this opportunity to be affiliated with this group of great institutions that are currently in the Mid-American Conference," UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said. "We had the right situation at the right time and couldn't be more pleased."
 
UMass will compete in the Colonial Athletic Association in this season. The Minutemen finished 6-5 last season, including a 42-37 loss at Michigan.
 
UMass has been one of the elite FCS programs, advancing to the national title game in 2006, losing to Appalachian State, 28-17.

 


 
UMass-Gillette Stadium Coverage
Apr 21, 2011 11:44 AM
Total Number of Clips: 17
Cumulative Est. Audience: 307,466 Cumulative Est. Publicity Value: USD $3,498 (Sum of Clip Totals)
 

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...making the jump to big-time college football in 2012. the minutemen will be playing their home games at gillette stadium -- the home of the patriots. our josh brogadir talked to fans about how they feel making the 90-plus mile trek from amherst to foxboro. years after getting a traffic violation......
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...j-d drew, kevin youkilis and jed lowrie all homered as the sox won 5 to 3. today - - the sox head to los angeles to take on the angels. a messy divorce - - led to a take over of the l-a dodgers. major league baseball has assumed control of the team - - and will appoint someone to oversee day to day operations. the dodgers are in financial turmoil because of the bitter divorce of jamie and frank mccourt. he is a brookline, massachusetts native. the university of massachusetts - amherst is moving up in the college football world. they're joining the mid-american conference. since their on campus stadium doesn't meet n-c-a-a criteria - they'll play at gillette next year. patriots owner bob kraft is welcoming umass. the change means a nearly 70-mile drive for student fans. coming up next on the morning show - can you hear me now? why the way americans communicate is changing. also - cry baby! fussing as a child could lead to other problems later in life....
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...wearing black hoodie.stay tuned to abc40 throughout the morning for updates. umass football is moving up, and moving out. out.the minutemen will be playing their home games at gillette stadium in foxboro now that they're moving to a higher division.some umass students-- calling it bittersweet.but for local businesses-- like rafters sports bar-- it means a big loss in revenue. revenue. "it's only five or six home games...those weekends are busy without a doubt. the things that'll hurt are things like homecoming where you don't have those alumni coming back. that's what's definitely gonna hurt." hurt."the contract to play in foxboro runs the contract to play the contract to play in foxboro runs through the 2016 season.as of now, there aren't any plans to renovate their current stadium. so far, there's been mixed reactions to proposed cuts in the springfield budget. budget.there is agreement from some unions-- that cuts must be made to save jobs.some however disagree.once again-- mayor dominic sarno wants a 5.4 million dollars budget gap to be closed by a yearlong pay...
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...will also increase. the authors argue that bigger models on the catwalk will alter what is considered the "ideal" weight for a large part of the population. after years of debate, the umass football team is moving up to the football bowl subdivision. umass will join the mid american conference in 2012 and become bowl eligible in 2013. that means the team will play all of its home games in 2012 and 2013 at gillette stadium. gillette could eventually become the team's permanent home. umass athletic director john mccutcheon says he understand it may upset some loyal fans in western massachusetts...but that its a good opportunity for the team. the red sox might change the order of the honored numbers on the right-field facade.... back to the sequence in which they were retired. they have been hung in chronological order for about the last 10 years. the change would be in conjunction with the ballpark's 100th anniversary next year. mar league baseball's...

 
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...>> good morning. welcome back. the patriots soon will not be the only football team playing at gillette stadium. u/mass will call foxboro home. it's moving to the subdivision and will join the mid-american conference in 2012. to meet attendance requirements, the minute men will play most or all home games at gillette located 93 miles from amherst. u/mass will bus students to foxboro. >>> the red sox split their two game series with the a's. jed lowrie keeping alive the hitting pace one of three players to homer yesterday. drew and youkilis with long balls. sox win 5-3 and take on the angels tonight in anaheim. >> fenway park releasing details about the centennial celebration as the ball park turns 99. the red sox unveiling a new logo and unveiled a new buy a brick program allowing the faithful to etch their name in the parks. >> and in step with centennial celebrations the red sox might change the order of retired number on the right field. back to their original order. for the last decade they have hung in chronological order and now they may go back to being displayed in the order they were retired. >> and running a marathon is...
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WPRI (CBS) DMA: 53 Providence, RI
Est. Households: 24,292 Ad Value: USD $205
...their attorney said they would sue for 120-million dollars. (dn) the f-a-a is investigating an airport foul-up at boston's logan airport. a catering truck clipped the left wing of a jetblue plane as passengers were boarding late tuesday. massachusetts state police say a 90-year-old woman was knocked out her wheelchair and hurt her leg. she is expected to be okay. a jetblue vehicle was escorting the truck to the plane. and a worker for the airline was cited by police for not staying with the truck while it was moving. (pl) the new england patriots will have to start sharing the footbal field in foxboro. u-mass amherst just announced that it's going to start playing its home games at gillette stadium beginning next year. the team is moving up to the football-- bowl-- subdivision level of n-c-double-a division one - the top level of collegiate football. some say the move to gillette is an attempt to capitalize upon the high num high number of u- mass alumni in the boston area. (dn) now your pinpoint weather and traffic together.. here's tj delsanto--- good morning....

 
Entry #7
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NBC 10 News Sunrise at 5:00am News Apr 21, 2011 5:17 AM EDT (UTC -04:00)
WJAR (NBC) DMA: 53 Providence, RI
Est. Households: 34,231 Ad Value: USD $362
...to east yes, i have. yardley technical products makes high-tech cells and batteries for nasa. the military even the mars rover. the governor and webster bank worked together to get the company a tax-exempt bond that totalled 6 million. ocean spray kicking off a marketing campaign, facebook marketing campaign titled "make your spring sparkle." there are contacts and give-aways for the sparkling benches the company is making. it's based out of lakeville and middleboro. it will play in a world-class stadium. the school says starting in 2012 the minutemen will play home football games at foxboro's gillette stadium. joe kayata has the rest of your thursday morning sports. >> good morning, everyone. after opening their nine game road trip with 5-0 loss on tuesday night oakland and red sox back at it with a day game....
Entry #8
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1st Thing in the Morning News Apr 21, 2011 4:43 AM EDT (UTC -04:00)
NECN (NEWSENG) DMA: 7 Boston, MA
Est. Households: 5,249 Ad Value: USD $164
...amherst is moving up in the college football world. the minutemen will compete as a member of the sport's top level -- the bowl sub-division. umass is joining the mid-american conference. but the team's on- campus stadium doesn't meet the ncaa's criteria. so they'll be playing at gillette stadium in 2012. patriots owner bob kraft is welcoming umass. the change means a nearly 70-mile drive for student fans. former new mexico governor gary johnson is in new hampshire today -- possibly to announce a run for president. the republican plans to discuss his plans for the 2012 election during a news conference at the capitol building in concord. johnson habeen referred to as the most fiscally conservative governor in the country. he calls the national debt the greatest threat to national security. donald trump is visiting new hampshire next week -- as speculation of a presidential run continues to grow. trump will reportedly be in the granite state next wednesday to meet with voters and the chairman of the state's republican party. he's also booked to be the keynote speaker at the greater nashua chamber of commerce's annual business expo on may 11th. trump is also scheduled to visit other early-voting states, like iowa. a year anniversary...

Entry #9
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ABC 40 11pm News News Apr 21, 2011 1:32 AM EDT (UTC -04:00)
WGGB (ABC) DMA: 110 Springfield, MA
Est. Households: 554 Ad Value: USD $3
...jump. after years of speculation, today, the minutemen football program officially announced it will move to college football's highest level, the fbs. fbs.at a press conference complete with umass a-d john mccutcheon, patriots owner bob kraft, head coach kevin morris, and countless others, the minutemen laid out the welcome mat on their new home, gillette stadium. in a contract that runs through 2016, the minutemen will play at gillette at least until they make serious renovation to mcguirk stadium... and potentially for longer than just that. but the focus for coach morris is on winning football games -- both this year, in their final fcs year, and in their first season in the mac. mac. q: "...without question." (:14) (:14) both the bruins and celtics are off tonight... the celtics play game three of their series with the new york knicks on friday, and the bruins, fresh off their mini-trip to historic lake placid, play game four in montreal tomorrow... as for the boston red sox... still in search of their first road win of the season, coming into today... and today, clay buccholz on the bump... bump...looking for his first win of the season, as well... taking on gio gonzalez of the a's, and his sub-1.00 era...ad...
Entry #10
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Apr 21, 2011 1:15 AM EDT (UTC -04:00)
CSNNE (CSNNE) DMA: 0 National Programming
Est. Households: n/a Ad Value: n/a
...litigate. and we should have a deal -- there's a deal ready to be done where we can play football in the fall here. you saw our schedule come out. >> yep. and we're excited about that. and now, we have to find a way to get the players back in. >> and more on the labor situation and the latest from tom e. curran including more with his conversation with mr. kraft go to our patriots page on www.csnne.com. >>> the u mass football program is joining the mid american conference in football only. they will play a full schedule in 2012. >> who is that guy on the left? >> the minuteman. >> bowl game eligible in 2013. they will play at gillette stadium. roughly 90 miles from the campus. >> mr. minuteman. i like that. >>> the red sox were mired in the muck until jed lowrie put in the keys. >>> nhl playoffs where the optative word was double. double overtime that is. playoff hockey at its best as "sportsnet central" hits the ice. ? ? let's see you fly now! [ laughs ] look, more frequent flyer red tape. not on my watch. let that family fly! [ tires screech ] i just wanted to use miles to take my family on vacation, but -- let me guess -- restrictions through the roof. that's right. not anymore. rapid rewards has your back. [ male announcer ] join rapid rewards and enjoy unlimited reward seats, no blackout dates, and no red tape. ?...

Entry #11
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Apr 20, 2011 11:30 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
WPRI (CBS) DMA: 53 Providence, RI
Est. Households: 47,853 Ad Value: USD $464
...scores..pawsox up early.. starter andrew miller sharp on the mound.... four hits and a run in six strong inings of work... but the bullpen and some costly errors... cost the sox their streak..chiefs take it... 6-3 the final the yankees... in toronto.. alex rodriguez back in the lineup.. .missed a couple games with a sore back... new york with a 1-0 lead in the second... looking to add... curtis granderson... drills one to the corner in right... russel martin scores... granderson with a triple... yankees would take a 3-0 lead... as for a- rod... 0-2... with two walks.. but and rbi sac fly... yankees have won three of four.. four... 6-2 the final score umass is headed to the big time.. in more ways than one... as they'll soon make patriot place... the place to be for a full football weekend... the minuteman officially annonced today.. thier move to the football bowl subdivision... they'll join the mid- amerian conference in 20- 12.. the same season.. they'll move into gillette stadium... the pats and team owner robert kraft... opening thier arms... in hopes.. this will be a match made in gridiron heaven [" "] with coach cooley continuing to spread the joy as the new head man of the basketball program.. the friars are also hoping to rebuild some momentum in hockey.. the team is expected to name the next head coach.. as early as tomorrow.. the providence journal is reporting.. that bob driscoll is leaning toward unions nate lehman over cranston native david quinn.. lehman was named national coach of the year... after guiding unioni to a school record 26 wins two rival lacrosse team battling tonight under the lights in providence... lasalle hosting bishop hendricken.. midway through the third quarter.... all lasalle all the time... ryan poirier... pump- fakes... aims and fires it home to extend an already big lead.. eight to one rams after three... to the...
Entry #12
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Apr 20, 2011 11:26 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
NESN (NESN) DMA: 0 National Programming
Est. Households: n/a Ad Value: n/a
...>>> it's official. the university of massachusetts announced wednesday, the football program has been elevated to division i football subdivision. minutemen will join the mid american conference. umass will begin a full fbs slate in 2012. they will play at gillette stadium and that's where they will now play their home games. >>> after a fourth-straight day of talks, the nfl and the players association won't be getting together anytime soon. it is reported that the two won't return to the bargaining table until mid-may....
Entry #13
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Apr 20, 2011 10:47 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
WNAC (Fox) DMA: 53 Providence, RI
Est. Households: 41,347 Ad Value: USD $242
...final the yankees... in toronto.. alex rodriguez back in the lineup.. .missed a couple games with a sore back... new york with a 1-0 lead in the second... looking to add... curtis granderson... drills one to the corner in right... russel martin scores... granderson with a triple... yankees would take a 1-0 lead... bartolo colon... solid in six innings plus... does give up a solo shot to j.p. arencibia in the 2nd... as for a- rod... 0-2... with two walks.. but and rbi sac fly... yankees have won three of four... 6-2 the final score umass is headed to the big time.. in more ways than one. one... as they'll soon make patriot place... the place to be for a full football weekend... the minuteman officially annonced today.. thier move to the football bowl subdivision... they'll join the mid- amerian conference in 20- 12.. the same season.. they'll move into gillette stadium... the pats and team owner robert kraft... opening thier arms... in hopes.. this will be a match made in gridiron heaven [" "] while mr. kraft was welcoming the minutemen... jerry jones and other owners joined roger goodell as the sides met again in minnesota... the final meeting until mid may... the judge telling the sides to recovine on may 16th... in the interm... judge susan nelson is expected to decide on the players request to lift the now 40 day... lock out earlier this month... vladine biosse represented providence... with a victory on friday night lights... this week.. another young local prospect will hit the big stage... demitrus... boo... boo andrade will fight in front of a national audience.. this friday at mohegan sun... boo boo a 2008 olympian.. is 12-0 professionally with 8 ko's... the bo...
Entry #14
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Apr 20, 2011 10:24 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
WGGBDT2 (Fox) DMA: 110 Springfield, MA
Est. Households: n/a Ad Value: n/a
...jump. after years of speculation, today, the minutemen football program officially announced it will move to college football's highest level, the fbs. fbs.at a press conference complete with umass a-d john mccutcheon, patriots owner bob kraft, head coach kevin morris, and countless others, the minutemen laid out the welcome mat on their new home, gillette stadium. in a contract that runs through 2016, the minutemen will play at gillette at least until they make serious renovations to mcguirk stadium... and potentially for longer than just that. but the focus for coach morris is on winning football games -- both this year, in their final fcs year, and in their first season in the mac. mac. q: "...without question." (:14) (:14) as for the boston red sox... still in search of their first road win of the season, coming into today... and today, clay buccholz on the bump... bump...looking for his first win of the season, as well... ad lib...

Entry #15
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Apr 20, 2011 7:25 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
NECN (NEWSENG) DMA: 7 Boston, MA
Est. Households: 10,120 Ad Value: USD $159
...thuniversity of massachusetts- amherst is moving up in the college football world. the program is becoming a member of the sport's top level - the bowl sub- division. umass will join the mid-american conference. but - the team's on-campus stadium doesn't meet the n-c- double-a's criteria. so they'll begin playing at gillette stadium in 2012. patriots owner bob kraft is welcoming umass. the change means the change means a long drive for student fans. we'll have reaction from the umass campus tonight at nine. and you may have noticed at the bottom of the screen... our logo has changed colors. necn has gone green and we're taking part in n-b-c universal's "green is universal" campaign. it's in honor of earth week -- which lasts until sunday. coming up on necn tonight at nine....
Entry #16
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Apr 20, 2011 5:35 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
NECN (NEWSENG) DMA: 7 Boston, MA
Est. Households: 10,758 Ad Value: USD $190
...limiting waits on the tarmac to four hours. the rules will take effect in august. wall-street shook-off the down-graded credit outlook' -- of two days ago. those losses were wiped out today. the dow was up nearly 190-points today. at the close, the blue-chips rose 186 to close at 12- thousand-453. that's nearly a 3- year high. why? strong earnings from the tech-sector and a rise in existing home sales. the nasdaqlso had a good day -- adding 57-points -- to close at 28-02. (john) the university of massachusetts- amherst is moving up in the college football world. the program is becoming a member of the sport's top level - the bowl sub- division. umass will join the mid-american conference. but - the team's on-campus stadium doesn't meet the n-c- double-a's criteria. so they'll begin playing at gillette stadium in 2012. patriots owner bob kraft is welcoming umass. the change means a long drive for student fans. we'll have reaction from the umass campus tonight at nine. at nine. still ahead - afamily's quest for justice. denied at every turn - the henry family turns to the federal courts. plus - cut the deficit - sounds great. but what programs to cut? a new poll finding americans split. jim braude weighs in on those stories and more next on the braude beat....

Entry #17
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WSHMLP Springfield CBS 3 News at 4:00pm News <http://ctv4.criticalmention.com/playerpage/player?params=Y2xpcElkPTI5MTU4OCZyZXBvcnQ9dHJ1ZSZoaWRlQ2xpcENvbnRyb2xzPTEmbm9oZWFkZXI9MSZub21lbnU9dHJ1ZSZhdXRvUGxheT0xJnBhcnRuZXJUb2tlbj1mZjgwODA4MTJmNjk5YmFiMDEyZjc4NmM5Y2UzNzljMQ==>  
Apr 20, 2011 4:06 PM EDT (UTC -04:00)
WSHMLP (CBS) DMA: 110 Springfield, MA
Est. Households: n/a Ad Value: n/a
...      big changes "are" coming for the   "u- mass" football team. the "minutemen" are in the middle of "a" press conference announcing its program "is" moving- "up" to the highest level of competion. cbs 3 springfield's matthew campbell is here "w" to explain these "new" changes. liz, umass is moving from f-c-s to f-b-s... which means it'll take on teams in the top level of college football. and one key to the move is where the minutemen will be playing... the school announcing today, for the 2012 and 2013 seasons it'll play all of its home games at gillette stadium in foxboro. almost 70 miles away from amherst. that's not going take effect until next season..but this is why they have to do it. to be an f- b-s program, umass has to average 15- thousand fans at its home games. umass averages 12- thousand over the last three seasons. the big draw for "moving up" is the possibility of making money on theootball program. right now, the team loses about 3-million dollars per year. another plus is for the fans, no longer are you going to watch the delaware blue hens. not that there's anything wrong with them, but rember the hype surrounding the michigan game last season? we're going to see that type of out of conference talent each and every year. patriots president robert kraft is excited to have umass take his field on saturdays. robert kraft we believe that this will help attract even more students and become something financially that will be very strong and a great cash flow down the rd and help support all the sports programs at umass. the minutemen will play their final season in                         the c-a-a in september, and the   move to division one or f-b-s as they call it, in 2012. much more coming up at 6 o'clock, including how this move is affecting students, who will no longer just walk across campus to watch the team play. but...
Total Number of Clips: 17
Cumulative Est. Audience: 307,466 Cumulative Est. Publicity Value: USD $3,498 (Sum of Clip Totals)

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