Jack Tulloss: A ‘misbegotten decision’ for UMass football

UMass quarterback Taisun Phommachanh scrambles against Penn State Saturday. The Minutemen lost to the No. 6 Nittany Lions, 63-0.

UMass quarterback Taisun Phommachanh scrambles against Penn State Saturday. The Minutemen lost to the No. 6 Nittany Lions, 63-0. AP

Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap

Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap

Published: 10-17-2023 8:01 AM

Congratulations to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The UMass football/athletic program has earned national recognition.

Tom Fornelli, a writer for cbssports.com, on Nov. 29, 2022, ranked the bottom 25 NCAA football programs. Calling UMass football the best of the worst, he wrote, “UMass has won two of the last three Bottom 25 titles (COVID-19 won in 2020), and it could become our first true Bottom 25 Dynasty.”

The rancid vulgarity of the misbegotten decision to move the football team into the Football Bowl Subdivision, a level of competition for which the team is abjectly unprepared, was on full display this past weekend. Supported by 10-plus years of failure, after Saturday’s performance at Penn State, the dynasty is realized through no fault of the coaches or players.

So, all the best to the UMass administration for raking in $1.6 million at the expense of the health and safety of the young men on the football team. The good news is that none of the players are receiving hospital level of care. The bad news is that there is no measure of shame or embarrassment the big shots in the decision-making ranks of the UMass system aren’t willing to sustain as long as the cash keeps coming in.

There is a word for just such a relationship wherein one makes money at the expense of another’s humiliation and degradation. Shame on those in power whose obligation is to care for those in their charge and abandon all responsibility, so the foul and obscene profits made from the sacrifice of young athletes keep rolling in.

Disgraceful isn’t a big enough word for the decision-makers at UMass. Sleep tight, administrators. Maybe next year, there will be an opportunity for an even bigger payout at even greater risk to the players on the football team.

Jack Tulloss

Belchertown

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