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Robert N. Brooks: University gains even as football program fumbles

Maine defensive back Jamal Clay (15) wraps up Massachusetts running back Stacey Bedell (23) during their NCAA football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday Sept. 7, 2013. Maine defeated Massachusetts 24-14. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Maine defensive back Jamal Clay (15) wraps up Massachusetts running back Stacey Bedell (23) during their NCAA football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday Sept. 7, 2013. Maine defeated Massachusetts 24-14. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) Purchase photo reprints »

To the editor:

Concerning the UMass football team’s loss to Maine, while undoubtedly Coach Charley Molnar is in part to blame, others shouldn’t be let off the hook: so-called experts in the media, some UMass administrators and alumni and others who unrealistically boosted the program from Day One before a single point had been scored, and continued to do so through last year’s season.

It is hoped that the division upgrade will soon be seen for the mistake that many knew it to be. Notwithstanding, I hope success, however defined, will in fact be realized in the near future.

Just keep things in perspective, meanwhile. It’s only a game and has little or nothing to do with the admirable academic strides the university is making. Somehow or other Brandeis, Chicago, Cal Tech and MIT seem to prosper absent football.

Robert N. Brooks

Amherst

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Matt Vautour: Saturday's loss to Maine was UMass' worst nightmare

Saturday, September 14, 2013

FOXBOROUGH — When members of the University of Massachusetts athletic department woke up in the middle of the night in cold sweats over the past few weeks, Saturday’s football loss to Maine was what their nightmares looked like. Nobody with any sense of perspective thought the Minutemen would be bowl eligible this year. Progress would have equaled success by any …

Legacy Comments2

Rob Brooks and mitfan hit the nail on the head. UMass football, an expensive student activity at any level (size of team, equipment, etc.), was fine just the way it was. Unfortunately, the administration thinks that "going big-time" was what UMass needed to be thought of as being big-time.

Robert N. Brooks makes the case that other schools do just fine without football, and mentions among the list MIT. Actually, MIT does have a football team -- a pretty good one in Division 3. In fact, they went west to Claremont, CA last week, and beat another school with excellent academics in Pomona Pitzer. He also mentions Chicago. As I understand it, they too have a decent Division 3 team. Just because you are a good school doesn't mean you can't have a team for the athletes at the appropriate level. UMass had an excellent Division 1-A (FCS) team that was doing reasonably well. Maybe they should have stuck with that division instead of moving up to the more expensive and hugely risky Division 1 FBS level.

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