In the same week Idaho dropped out of FBS and Eastern Michigan denied rumors it would do the same, Massachusetts was thrown into the ring after the school’s faculty senate asked chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy to consider dropping football or moving out of FBS.
Subbaswamy wasn’t having any of it.
“I think the program is in good shape and (headed) in the right direction,” he told MassLive. “This was simply a small group of senators who have been carrying on this agenda for some time. And they’re not getting the support they need.”
Describing the movement as “a non-issue that is being made into an issue by a small group of faculty senators,” Subbaswamy was especially ticked at an implication by professor Frank Hungus that there exists a connection between major football programs and a rise in violent sex crimes.
“This guilt by association is something I deeply resent,” Subbaswamy said. “Our student-athletes do not deserve it. Out athletic department does not deserve it.”
This week’s effort marked the third time in four years the UMass faculty senate has attempted to submarine the Minutemen’s football program.
“I can’t control what the Faculty Senate does. It’s a waste of this important body’s time, in my opinion, to keep bringing up this issue,” Subbaswamy said. “We have lots of issues on the curriculum and we have lots of issues on our future planning and so forth. So I think the academic senate’s time should be more wisely spent than debating something over and over again.”
He continued: “The financial judgement is sound. We have the right leadership. We have great student-athletes coming. And we have strong support from the alumni base and our own student body, which we’re going to build even more once we start playing even more games on campus.”