Umass Football is a joke. For the past 30 years they have been a joke. Two years ago, the Athletic Department felt like it would be a good idea to move to division one. Since the “upgrade” Umass has won two games. The on the field struggles is what the public see’s, but what they don’t see is the disorganized leadership running this program into the ground.
The NCAA has a formula that calculates a student-athletics chances of graduation. Players must have a score of 930 to avoid penalties and/or scholarship revocation. Teams also need to maintain a four year average rate of 930. The current Umass team has a score of 932, barely making the cut. They sit near the bottom nationally at the division one level.
The school claims to have taken many steps to address the problem, but didn’t explain what these steps were. They projected a rise for this academic year, to a score of 935, which would still be on the low end of the spectrum.
As stated before, the Athletic Department moved this team to division one. Also recently, they decided to reconstruct Alumni Stadium, and play games in Gillette for 2 years. The AD is putting too much attention into making Umass Football a household name. They are evil, money chasing, corporate bastards trying to squeeze every penny out of these student athletes with no regard for their education. With very little transition period, they moved an under-talented and under-coached football team to a division they had no business playing in, just so they could sell more television ads, more seats, and more popcorn. They added a new press-box and locker rooms to the stadium, just so they could make recruits and the press happy. They moved the team to Gillette hoping the big stage would sell more tickets. However, because they were playing above their heads, it was an embarrassment.
While the Athletic Department is focused on their public image, their private image, within the school and the locker room, is losing credibility fast. These scores just prove what every student at Umass already knows. Many athletes, especially football players, are given special treatment by professors and academic departments. Many schools do a good job of balancing academics and athletics, but that is not on the priority list for Umass.
If they want to become a football powerhouse, with a big TV deal, exciting players, and a reputable name, the athletic department needs to start paying more attention to the players. One NCAA investigation can ruin a program forever. Turning these athletes into students is part of college athletics, and Umass Administration seems to have forgotten that.