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UMass Football To Join MAC In 2012

The Mid-American Conference will be adding a football team in 2012 with the announcement that the University of Massachusetts will join the conference in football – moving up from the NCAA’s championship subdivision to the bowl subdivision.

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UMass has been a D-1 basketball school for a long time, playing in the A-10, but recently has committed to the football program. The school will play their home games at Gillette Stadium, home of the National Football League’s New England Patriots, but conveniently situated within 30 minutes of 120,000 alumni of the school.

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The MAC will now have 14 football teams in the conference and UMass will be eligible for the MAC Championship and MAC bowl games starting in 2013.

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UMass AD John McCutcheon believes the time is right to make a move.

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“This was a perfect storm of things coming together at the same time,” McCutcheon said of the decision to move to the sport’s highest level. “What’s different this time is the opportunity to play in this facility and avoid the huge capital investment up front,” that a new stadium would necessitate. “All the studies for 20 years said we should be at this level. It was a matter of how to make it work.”

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.