Michigan Football: Ask the AD — UMass AD John McCutcheon Interview
Recently GBMWolverine asked University of Massachusetts Athletic Director, Mr. John McCutcheon, if he would kindly respond to a few questions about the Massachusetts football team transition to Division One, Bowl Series, and we are delighted he has accepted our invitation.
Mr. McCutcheon thank you and welcome to major college football, although UMass has played major teams before, including Michigan.
Question: How did the upward move occur, and what do you and the university see as the future benefits of this move?Mr. McCutcheon:
Answer – This issue has been under consideration at UMASS for over twenty years. As we looked at the future of FCS Football, potential income opportunities in the future at the FBS level, and where we believed football should be positioned at the state’s flagship campus similar to our other nationally competitive sports we believed this was the right time to pursue the transition.
Question: Michigan is in a MAC friendly area, and as a MAC graduate I see the MAC as a great fit for the UMASS football program. What led UMASS to link up with the MAC; do you also see this partnership as a great fit, and will travel be a major concern?
Answer – We explored several possibilities for a conference home and the MAC was clearly our best option. We are very pleased to be associated with the MAC and hope to be a valued contributing member for a long time. We have experienced significant travel costs even as an FCS institution so this is not that great a change for us.
Question – Some would say such a transition might take a few years. Knowing that as an athletic director it can be assumed you wish the transition to be smooth and quick, what is the reality of such a move before UMASS can compete evenly with the top tier of the conference?
Answer – There is no doubt that the transition will take some time and there are no quick fixes. We want to do this the right way so I would estimate that it will most likely take three to five years before we start to reach our potential.
The MAC is very proud of its compliance record, graduation rate, and academic scholarship. It appears from the viewpoint of the casual observer that the University of Massachusetts will provide an additional layer of academic excellence and football compliance to the MAC. Could you please comment some on the school in general (the Berkshire Hills are said to be fantastic) and also the high scholastic reputation UMass has achieved.
Answer – Those are some of the reasons we were attracted to the MAC. UMASS is a nationally competitive research institution. We are the Flagship campus of the State University System and Amherst was recently voted the best college town in the country as Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoake College, and Hampshire College are all within a few miles of UMASS.
Question: Are the players excited about the move up to acquiring Bowl Championship status and what has been the coaches’ message to the players about the transition?
Answer – Absolutely, I believe the coaches have presented this as a challenge to be part of something new and building and that our current players can make history by being part of this transition.
Welcome again to Ann Arbor Mr. McCutcheon, we wish you and the team the best and thank you for taking valuable time during game week. Is there anything you would like to add as a final thought?
Answer-Having been to Ann Arbor just two years ago we know how special the Michigan fans are and have every respect for the University and in particular the football program. We look forward to playing in the “BIG HOUSE” again this Saturday.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu — Recruiting and Writing Editor
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