UMass football edges faculty for second FBS victory

Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

By a vote of 19-18, the UMass faculty senate rejected a motion to recommend an abrupt end to UMass football playing in the MAC and the Bowl Subdivision for financial reasons.

Let's make something clear: the faculty are virtually powerless to do anything other than rattle some cages. Nevertheless, they are going through the procedures to have their voice heard. Yesterday at a much-ballyhooed faculty senate meeting, some faculty members made an impassioned case to stop spending so much cash on the top division of college football, but when they went to vote, the motion was shot down 19-18, with one abstaining vote.

Unlike the first meeting, where they couldn't even muster enough support to vote on the motion, UMass chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy reaffirmed the school's commitment to MAC and FBS football. And even if the senate passed the motion, Subbaswamy was under no obligation to consider it. But one notable omission from the voting: ardent FBS critic Max Page was out of the country and could not vote.

To summarize the reasons against UMass's football program in the FBS, based on @HarryPlumer's timeline, is that the money can be better spent on other aspects of the university, that travel for MAC away games is too tough on student-athletes, that football causes too many concussions, and "NCAA instability." Some of these arguments kind of get at the underlying sentiment of sponsoring college football at all, not just being in a pricier subdivision.

So UMass football in the MAC is safe for now. It doesn't seem to be going back down anytime soon. (Sorry, Akron.)

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