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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Beacon’s Blocked

The leaves are changing, it’s getting a bit chilly outside, and hundreds of universities have begun their football seasons. The most popular sport in America is gaining new fans each year, and for students at schools who have a program, football is everything. It’s really a shame that UMB hasn’t fielded a team since 1990. The fall season is a little scarce here, with only 4 teams playing home games in the semester. A football team would bring massive amounts of school pride and student interest to the athletic department and it would possibly even attract a whole new sort of student to campus. So why don’t we have one? Well for starters, as a commuting school it’s hard to get students to show up on a Saturday for a game. According to Athletics Director Charlie Titus, “When we ended football back in 1990, one of the things we said is that if we ever get dorms perhaps we’d take another look at football…the context to bring football back would be its impact on the entire athletic program.” Needless to say, having a football program can be a huge asset to a university’s athletic department. UMass Amherst AD John McCutchen, when asked about how his department’s football team’s success has impacted its campus, said, “There are a great number of things that having a football program does for a campus. It has entertainment value and it allows for alumni to reconnect with a university. There is also a benefit for the student athletes who play. It provides an opportunity to young people to receive a college education through scholarships who couldn’t receive one otherwise.” Of course there are discrepancies between a D-1 school like UMass Amherst and a D-3 program like UMB. The student bodies are similarly sized, but the level of interest in the athletic programs is much lower at commuter UMB than residential UMass Amherst. Another thing that hampers the development of new sports (especially football) here is the immense cost it takes to support a team. When asked about the costs of football and were the money comes from, UMass Amherst’s AD McCutchen said, “We currently spend around 4.4 million dollars on football, it’s funded partially from state funds, which go towards salaries. A student athletic fee, money generated from ticket sales, sponsorship dollars, and donations also go towards putting a team out on the field.” According to Titus, “Back when we ended football in 1990 we were spending around $175,000 a year on football alone.” Undoubtedly the cost of running a program has gone up, and, unlike many D-1, schools UMB (and other D-3 schools) have “no chance” of making a profit from football, according to Titus. Students who go to UMB are starting to crave more “real college” experiences and football is right up at the top along with streaking across the quad and not observing quiet hours. With dorms slated to be built in the near future, UMB is transforming more and more into the sort of school that should play football. There is a sliver hope to bring new sports to UMB though, Titus said “We’re going to take a look at sports sponsorship as a part of our strategic 5 year plan…we’re going to look at the sports we currently offer and ask ourselves if we should add sports or drop programs. We’re going to see where we’re at.” Right now there are no plans to bring football to campus, but there is hope that one day UMB might be howling with the sounds of cheers from the gridiron on a Saturday afternoon.