UMass (Amherst) Football to Announce Upgrade to FBS

This article appears in today’s Springfield Republican – it might have some interest to area locals especially UMass Amherst alums:

AMHERST – After decades of debate, and with some difficult questions still to be answered, the University of Massachusetts football program will make the move to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Beginning in 2012, the Minutemen will play their entire home schedule at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The 2011 schedule will not be affected unless UMass increases its previously announced schedule from 11 to 12 games, as is allowed during the transitional phase.

UMass will join the Mid-American Conference, a league of predominantly Midwest schools that also includes Buffalo and Temple. The move is not expected to affect the Minutemen’s Atlantic 10 Conference membership in other sports.

A press conference Wednesday at Gillette Stadium will announce the move. Officials of UMass, the MAC and Gillette Stadium will be in attedance.

The 2011 UMass team will play in the Colonial Athletic Association of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The FCS classification has commonly been called Division I-AA.

In 2012, UMass would play a mixed schedule of FCS and FBS teams. Its first full season as an FBS and Mid-American member would be in 2013, when the school would become eligible for postseason bowl games.

The FBS, the highest of the NCAA’s four levels of college football, is known informally as Division I-A.

UMass sources confirmed the press conference would introduce the program to FBS football.

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