It's time for UMass to leave FBS

UMass Amherst football team’s recent loss to the University of Rhode Island, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team, is expected ...



UMass Amherst football team’s recent loss to the University of Rhode Island, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team, is expected to mark the end of UMass’s failed era in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) .

Charley Molnar, UMass’s first head coach in the FBS, had a 2-22 win-loss record from 2012 to 2013. His replacement, Mark Whipple, was 16-44 as a coach. leader, from 2014 to 2018. Walt Bell, who was fired on Nov. 7 following the loss to URI, had a 2-23 record from 2018 to 2021.

In this sense, UMass football has embarked on a desperate adventure in the FBS and the explanation by sports director Ryan Bamford that UMass needed to fire Bell to start rebuilding their football program for the future is absurd. . He intends to hire a fourth football coach for a fourth phase of rebuilding after three failed rebuilding phases. Bamford’s job is to run a sports program, not to sell snake oil.

The blame for this nearly decade-long embarrassment for UMass lies with Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who had already been installed as head of the flagship campus when UMass football began its sad FBS saga with a home game at Gillette Stadium, from all places, in 2012, and Bamford, who has been at the helm of UMass athletics since 2015. These directors were ultimately responsible for hiring the right people to run the football program and they clearly did not. not done.

Yet, remarkably, their response to their own repeated failures, as Bamford said, is to pour more money into coaching salaries. After three failed coaches and three failed rebuilding phases, is the answer really to spend more money on coaches? To be clear, Bamford’s public explanation for this continued failure is really that the coaches didn’t make enough money.

According to public records available from the Massachusetts Comptroller’s Office, Bell received $ 613,683 in payment as a Massachusetts public employee in 2020, when the football season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic and Minutemen went to 0-4.

Let it flow: $ 613,683 in one year. That’s more than Gov. Charlie Baker was paid that year and his job is to lead the entire state government, not a losing sports team. In fact, Bell was paid more in 2020 by UMass than Baker was paid for his work as governor in 2020, 2019 and 2018 combined, but the governor of Massachusetts faces much bigger, more complex and more complex issues. much more substantial than a football coach for a sports team in a public university.

Bell was not afraid to take responsibility for the failure, but Subbaswamy and Bamford hired Bell and gave him a five-year contract that would allow Bell, if terminated, not to work at all for two. years while receiving a much higher salary than the governor. .

Yet somehow, Bell has become the scapegoat for the failures of UMass directors. Their response to all of these failures is to simply throw more money at another coach. They are the ones who should take responsibility and admit failure. They should have pulled UMass out of the FBS years ago, even before Bell was hired, but they apparently weren’t willing to admit defeat at the time and, it seems, didn’t. changed despite everything we’ve seen in the past nine years.

Was it a mistake on the part of the university administration to award this contract to Bell given what has happened over the past three years? Obviously, this was a mistake considering how much compensation Bell can receive for two years without doing anything for UMass. If so, why do administrators think even more inflated coach salaries are the answer to three failed rebuilding phases?

Has the switch to FBS been a failure? Obviously it was. How many years of failure does it take for leaders hungry for prestige to realize that they were wrong, that they misjudged, and that they should obviously change course by leaving the FBS for the FCS.

UMass’s board is expected to take a close look at what this program has failed to accomplish over the past decade under the guidance of a series of head coaches, step in and bring UMass football back into the game. Less prestigious but more realistic FCS. The people of Massachusetts should seriously ask themselves if the success of UMass football for one year is worth more to them than the success of our entire state for three years.

I first read “Paradise Lost” as a student at UMass and this concept stuck with me: “Better to reign in Hell, then serve in the Heav’n.”

Putting the context of Milton’s epic poem statement aside, it would be better if the Minutemen were successful in the FCS than the Minutemen were the worst team and the laughing stock of the FBS year after year.

Bamford and Subbaswamy should let go of their fantasies of FBS success, acknowledge reality, publicly admit their own repeated failures, and do what any rational person not blinded by ambition or ubiquitous group thinking would do. They should cut their losses and integrate UMass football into the FCS as soon as possible. No more excuses.

A university should be a place where facts, evidence and reason are taken seriously and relied on, not ignored. Any objective observer can see that this FBS enterprise has been a failure. It’s time for UMass football to return to FCS.

David George Morin lives in Feeding Hills.



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Newsrust - US Top News: It's time for UMass to leave FBS
It's time for UMass to leave FBS
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