Technically UMass football needs to average 15,000 fans at home this year, but realistically it needs to do so over the next 11 years.

Last modified: Monday, August 12, 2013

The NCAA, through officially announced UMass FBS status, but pointed out the Minutemen's need to average more fans in this release. The following is the passage relevant to UMass:

Massachusetts and South Alabama were approved but must meet minimum football attendance requirements this season, while Texas State moves into the FBS with no restrictions.Both UMass and South Alabama failed to satisfy the actual or paid 15,000 attendance requirement over a rolling two-year period for FBS schools. Their move to the FBS will be contingent upon having 15,000 in actual average attendance in the 2013 football season. If the requirement is not met, the schools will receive a notice of noncompliance and enter a 10-year probationary period.

What is a probationary period you ask? The UMass compliance office passed this along:

"Probation is the warning period (10 years) giving the institution notice that any further noncompliance (in this case, attendance requirements) within that 10 year period would result in "restricted membership" (Bylaw An institution in restricted membership would not be eligible for post-season football competition and given one year to either shape up or get out of FBS football. Once kicked out of FBS, an institution would have to restart the transition process to get back in (3 year period)."

UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said he was confident that it wouldn't be a factor.

"We’re excited about the fact official move into FBS status. Everybody in FBS has to comply with the 15,000," he said. "We’re prepared and have every confidence that we will comply this year."

UMass averaged 10,901 fans in 2012.


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