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Not movin' on up

UMass committee says football should stay at Division I-AA level

Posted: Wednesday December 10, 2003 7:15PM; Updated: Wednesday December 10, 2003 7:15PM
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AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -- The University of Massachusetts football program should remain at the Division I-AA level, a school committee recommended Wednesday.

A Board of Trustees committee has been studying whether the Minutemen should move up to Division I-A, but decided the program would be better suited to stay at its current status -- for now.

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"There is a strong and eager constituency for Division I-A football, but we should not take this step until we have all the ingredients needed to make the move an unqualified and enduring success," said Robert Meers, co-chair of the trustees' Ad Hoc Committee on Athletics.

Authors of the study, conducted by Chicago-based Grenzebach Glier & Associates, said a successful Division I-A team could boost student and faculty recruitment, energize alumni and generate more financial support for UMass.

But a difficult economy makes this a bad time to raise the money needed for a Division I-A program, the study said.

Before the team could upgrade, the committee recommended that Chancellor John Lombardi develop a plan to draw more attention and money to football and other sports at the Amherst campus.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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