MAC Media Day: Commissioner Addresses UMass Joining Conference

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher

July 26, 2011

DETROIT - Mid-American Conference Football Media Day was held at Ford Field in Detroit on Tuesday. The entire Media Day was streamed live on, including Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher's interview in which he commented on UMass joining the MAC as a football member in 2012. The full transcript of his comments are below.

Commissioner Steinbrecher on UMass joining the MAC in football:
It's been a process, and again it goes back to two years ago when I came on board and we were sitting here with 13 teams and we needed to evaluate, what did we want to do going forward? Is that the right number? More? Less? What is it?

We did a lot of evaluation, and one of the things that jumped out very quickly was we really enjoyed our relationship with Temple University. They brought value to the Mid-American Conference, and we wanted to continue to that, and if we wanted to that why don't we try to round off that number. 14 is a little better number. 13 creates some scheduling issues and we've been fortunate, if we can get through this season. We've avoided some tough tie-break issues because of that so we started looking around the country side. It really starts at the institution, the institutional values, its students in general, what would be a match for us.

We very quickly zeroed in on the University of Massachusetts who coincidentally at the same time was doing an evaluation of what they wanted to do with football. We kind of started at the same time with each other and it really started to make sense. It was a fairly deliberate process it wasn't rushed into. I really talk about these things as a courtship-marriage and as you're working through it you want to share all of the information and ask all of the questions you can so when you get up to the altar there, and it's time to get married you don't find out, you don't discover things you didn't know. That you're not surprised and so that you have a really strong marriage and I think that's what we'll have here.



So beginning in 2012 I think we'll really enjoy them they have a program that I think, in very short order, will be up to FBS level. I'm not at all concerned about those first few years. They will be playing all of their games in Foxboro which I think will be an unique opportunity, for teams to travel to Boston and what a great weekend that could be. At some point in time they'll probably start playing one or more, and who knows how many more, back on campus. It's a great campus, Amherst is a wonderful community. It's about, if you have not been there, it's about a 45-minute drive from Hartford/Springfield airport. It's fairly easy to get to, again they fit right in. John McCutcheon and [Kevin Morris] have participated in all of our meetings. So we really look forward to them in another year getting out on that field and competing.

Steinbrecher on basketball:
Just as we have with Temple, what we do is, UMass will play four games against MAC teams in basketball, which is men's and women's basketball, two home and two away. We will continue that with Temple, and again it's a branding opportunity, but we're playing teams we want to be playing, great competition, and we look forward to matching up in hoops with them.

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