Boston Globe: UMass football move loaded with financial risks

Discussion in 'Football' started by RF, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. henfan

    henfan New Member

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    Looks real, real bad for UMass FB in the FBS. I honestly thought the move was the right one at the time (when Temple was on board and it looked like URI was leaving the CAA), though I always maintained that playing more than a game or two per season in Foxboro would be a horrible decision.

    More from the Boston Globe.
    #31
  2. ODUAlum78

    ODUAlum78 Active Member

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    Just like GaSt.
    Even though the Georgia Dome is close to campus, it is not good feng shui for a fledgling college football program. Foxboro is exponentially worse.

    Additionally and unlike GaSt, most northeast programs are losing fans and seeing the general wave of college football popularity moving South. Even UD is feeling this effect.

    The quality of the program at the time of the move, the location of the stadium, the geographic location of the school, and timing with respect to the economy all conspired against UMass.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
    #32
  3. PRunCrunk

    PRunCrunk New Member

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    It's not over yet for UMASS. Take a look at the horrid seasons that Western Kentucky had in 2009
    http://boards.caazone.com/showthrea...otball-move-loaded-with-financial-risks/page4
    and 2010
    http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/schedule/_/id/98/year/2010/western-kentucky-hilltoppers

    Now, they're putting together a nice little program with wins over Kentucky and Arkansas State and only losses are to Alabama and two of the top teams in the Sun Belt (UL-MOnroe and Midd Tenn). Things looked dire for them for a little bit, but I don't think one fan of theirs regrets not playing in 1AA anymore.
    It takes time to build a program to compete at the highest level, give UMASS 5 seasons and if they're still a doormat who can only win a game or two a season, then there is some trouble.
    #33
  4. PRunCrunk

    PRunCrunk New Member

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    Being in the Northeast could be a long term killer for them though.
    #34
  5. Big Tribe

    Big Tribe New Member

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    One more year and UMass will either drop football or return it to campus as a Div II or III program.
    They had been warned....the UMass student paper came out against the move the day it was even proposed...but went ahead on one of the most blockheaded, self-delusional decisions in recent
    college football history.
    #35
  6. RF

    RF New Member

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    That article link is not the Boston Globe. It is actually from the Springfield Republican, the largest newspaper in western MA, and was written by the paper's UMass Athletics coverage writer.
    #36
  7. Quinn

    Quinn Active Member

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    And a writer (Ron Chimelis) who for as long as he's been covering UMass, has been an antagonist. Readers who follow UMass know this, so it's not an important fact unless of course one is from outside the region and doesn't know that.

    Nobody expected anything from UMass this season. Nobody. The roster was even more transitional than the program was. But like many upgrades, it takes time. UMass benefited from joining a great FBS conference this year. In previous years, that wouldn't have been the case. But 7 of UMass' 12 opponents this year are expected to goto bowl games. For a 1st year FBS school, that's a humbling schedule, unexpected...a negative for those who assumed they'd have wins this year...a positive in entering FBS and getting a feel for how high caliber the level of play can be,
    #37
  8. Minuteman97

    Minuteman97 New Member

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    I thought W&M people were smarter than the rest of us. What else can I do to help you understand at least the financial aspect of this?

    Financially, there is no difference between what UMass is doing now, and what UMass did as a CAA program. 22 additional scholarships do not produce millions of dollars of red ink, especially not at a large state university where 80% of students pay in-state tuition rates. 17.6 in-state students and 4.4 out-of-state students = $560,700, if every single one paid every single cent of full tuition and board. The current UMass coach is barely paid more than the previous coach, and less than at least one CAA coach. Nothing was spent to construct or use Gillette Stadium. No women's sports were added. Fan attendance, while essentially the same as recent years, pays UMass more than twice as much per ticket compared to previous years. Guarantee games pay more than twice as much compared to the $250k to $500k from our recent FCS years. BCS shares, while not large (a low 6 digit number), are far more than twice as much as in the CAA. TV money, while not large (also a low 6 digit number), is infinitely more than $0.

    Let me also hit this from the opposite angle: If UMass was 9-0 and averaging about 30k attendance, and people were calling the FBS move a spectacular success, it would in fact NOT make any significant difference to UMass financially, because most of the ticket money between 13k and the upper 20k attendance range goes to Gillette Stadium. UMass's FBS plan never relied upon drawing big crowds. We negotiated that potential revenue away in exchange for guaranteeing that all the low attendance money came to us, to assure that we couldn't lose any more money than we were already losing in the CAA. We prepared for the worst case scenario, not the best case. The other revenue sources mentioned in the previous paragraph remain the same regardless of winning/losing and attendance (excluding bowl revenue, which we weren't eligible for this year anyway).

    If you want to talk about the team itself not being ready to move to FBS competitively, that's certainly true, though not entirely within UMass's control because now you need a conference invitation to move to FBS, and the MAC would have withdrawn their invitation within months nevermind years given what happened in conference realignment shortly after UMass joined. No other FBS conference would have invited UMass, especially not as a football-only member, allowing us to remain in a great basketball conference.

    If you want to argue the wisdom of playing 100 miles off campus, that's certainly debatable, though the alternative would have meant spending the many millions of dollars on an on-campus stadium that would in fact have put UMass deep in the red without corresponding increases in revenue.

    Want to talk about FCS playoffs being better than the bowl system, sure, have at it, though FBS is now finally moving towards a small playoff that I will argue will inevitably grow larger as time goes on. UMass has been to the FCS championship 3 times and won the conference's first national championship. W&M fans can try telling us what we're missing out on when they get there once.

    And finally, sure, there's plenty to argue about regarding the merits of having a football team vs. not having a football team at all.

    But there is nothing you can say about UMass's move financially that wouldn't apply equally or even more to most members of CAA Football, including UMass had they stayed. An argument that UMass should drop football is an argument that most of the CAA should drop football.
    #38
  9. RF

    RF New Member

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    UMass wins its first FBS and MAC game beating Akron on the road 22-14. UMass is now 1-9 (1-5 MAC) while Akron falls to 1-10 (0-7 MAC). A crowd of 7,716 witnessed the game at Akron's InfoCision Stadium.
    #39
  10. BigE

    BigE New Member

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    8/30/12 at Connecticut L, 37-0
    09/08/12 vs. Indiana L, 45-6
    09/15/12 at #17 Michigan L, 63-13
    09/22/12 at Miami (OH) L, 27-16
    09/29/12 vs. Ohio L, 37-34
    10/06/12 at Western Michigan L, 52-14
    10/13/12 Bye Week
    10/20/12 vs. Bowling Green L, 24-0
    10/27/12 at Vanderbilt L, 49-7
    11/03/12 at Northern Illinois L, 63-0
    11/10/12 at Akron W, 22-14
    11/17/12 vs. UBuffalo L, 29-19
    11/23/12 vs. Central Michigan Foxboro, MA (Gillette Stadium) 3:00 PM ET[/b]

    http://www.umassathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/sched/umas-m-footbl-sched.html
    #40
  11. Sitting Bull

    Sitting Bull New Member

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    I hope not.

    My previous thoughts on all this were never about money. You have to figure the money is ok as long as Mr. Kraft doesn't mind bankrolling all this.

    To me, this was all about the other aspects on this move - playing 2+ hours from campus, jilting the students and the people in the University environment, a pretender level of FBS, etc. Huge risk, small reward. It compiles everything wrong with college football today.

    My hope is they go back home to campus and compete again in the CAA.
    #41
  12. RF

    RF New Member

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    Low attendance means UMass football program $700,000 short of expectation, says AD John McCutcheon
    By Harry Plumer
    on November 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM, updated November 22, 2012 at 3:02 PM
    The Springfield Republican

    http://www.masslive.com/umassfootball/index.ssf/2012/11/low_attendance_means_umass_foo.html


    Interesting blurbs:

    The Minutemen have averaged 11,963 fans per game in their first four games of the FBS era, about half of what UMass officials had said their goal was in July.

    The lack of attendance has left the program with a $700,000 financial shortfall

    he expects it to take five to seven years for UMass to fully adapt to competing at the FBS level.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
    #42
  13. RF

    RF New Member

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    The inaugural season of UMass FBS football is now in the books with today's loss at Gillette Stadium to Central Michigan 42-21. The Minutemen finished the season at 1-11 overall and 1-7 in the MAC. A crowd of 6,385 witnessed the loss at the 68,756 seat facility. It was the smallest crowd for a UMass game in several years. For the season, UMass drew 54,505 for an average of 10,901. The 2012 attendance numbers were actually a 15% decrease from the last FCS season for UMass as they drew 64,030 (average 12,806) for the same number of games in 2011.


    UMASS ATTENDANCE
    Indiana 16,304
    Ohio U 8,321
    Bowling Green 10,846
    Buffalo 12,649
    Central Michigan 6,385
    2012 Total 54,505
    2012 Average 10,901

    2011 Total 64,030
    2011 Average 12,806

    UMASS 2012 RECORD
    Overall 1-11
    MAC 1-7
    #43
  14. mainejeff

    mainejeff New Member

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    Wow. Tough times for UMass.
    #44
  15. mainejeff

    mainejeff New Member

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    I think that fans in New England are sick of all of the B.S. How can you get excited about playing teams that you don't even know? Bring back RIVALRIES. If not, then just start dropping sports because no one really gives a f**k.
    #45
  16. CAAFirst

    CAAFirst Member

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    My Maine man.... I agree wholeheartedly...

    After all the years of playing against U VA, Duke, NC State, Wake, etc., etc..., how can the Maryland fan base have ANY passion for a game against Wisconsin, Iowa OR Nebraska. Yes, all fine big time college football programs, but in the mid Atlantic, UMD vs U VA was big time. Who gives a hoot about the Terps vs. Illinois, or Indiana?

    MaineJeff, are we alone in valuing the regional rivalries? Will Maryland gradually become the great eastern university that will rep the east coast against all the midwestern Big 10 teams?
    #46
  17. clackers

    clackers New Member

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    Fittingly the dominant school colors of Maryland are red and black. The only thing they seem concerned with is which of those is the color of the ink on the bottom line of their ledger.
    #47
  18. RF

    RF New Member

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    UMass opened its "home" slate at Gillette Stadium losing to favored FCS UMaine 24-14 in front of 15,624. An estimated 10-20% of the crowd were Maine supporters.

    UMass had been warned in August that it needed to average 15,000 fans per game at home or faced the possibility of probation.

    http://www.gazettenet.com/blogs/uma...5000-fans-at-home-this-year-but-realistically
    #48
  19. AhaWatson

    AhaWatson New Member

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    Dumb move made for all the wrong reasons. Rationale was flawed and playing games off campus by even a few miles takes away from the college experience for the masses. To do it multiple hours off of campus is pure dumbassitude.
    #49
  20. Big Tribe

    Big Tribe New Member

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    Student newspaper asking about returning to CAA!
    #50
  21. RF

    RF New Member

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    #51
  22. tribe_pride 2

    tribe_pride 2 Active Member

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    UMass no longer in MAC football after 2015 season.

    Questions now
    - Where does UMass football go? AAC, Sun Belt or back to FCS (least likely but needed to put it in)
    - What does the MAC do? Stay at 12 or invite 2 (JMU +Liberty/Missouri State/Other?)
    - What does JMU do? Join MAC with another/Take last spot in Sun Belt/CUSA have an opening?/Stay in the CAA

    Things just got interesting again.
    #52
  23. towsonx

    towsonx Active Member

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    The AAC seems to be the 1st choice for UMass, but it doesn't look like there's room until a current member leaves.

    AAC's Aresco on UMass: 'We don't have any plans to expand'
    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefoo...sco-on-umass-we-dont-have-any-plans-to-expand

    I don't see the Sunbelt being a real choice because it seems like it would not be any better than the MAC.

    Sun Belt Conference
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Belt_Conference

    If not the AAC, my guess is that UMass becomes an independent or goes with Conf USA.

    With Tulane, East Carolina & Tulsa are leaving and WKU, Charolotte joining it seems like there's a slot for at least one more team.

    Conference USA
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conference_USA
    #53
  24. Tilldog40

    Tilldog40 New Member

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    I don't feel so bad being an NU Husky fan anymore. Umass should have stayed in the CAA.
    #54

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