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New report says UMass Amherst spent more than expected to subsidize football team

Posted by Your Town  December 13, 2013 07:07 AM

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Students and taxpayers have spent $1 million more than projected to help fund the first two seasons of the UMass Amherst football team’s ambitious — and so far disappointing — upgrade to elite collegiate competition, according to a report presented Thursday to the university’s Faculty Senate.

The subsidy, known as institutional support, is expected to exceed projections by an additional $600,000 next season, reaching $5.1 million of the $7.8 million football budget. The overrun is considered a reflection of the Minutemen’s struggle to generate enthusiasm for the upgrade, which included moving most of the team’s home games to Gillette Stadium.

The report triggered a new round of complaints that UMass leaders invested scarce public dollars that could have been better spent when they elevated the football team in 2012 to the NCAA’s top Football Bowl Subdivision.

“What becomes clearer each year is that this is a huge financial disaster for the university,’’ said Max Page, a co-chairman of the school’s Ad Hoc Committee on FBS Football, which prepared the report.

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