Updated: Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010, 3:26 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010, 1:27 AM EST
AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - Moving on up? The UMass football team is closer than ever before to becoming a Division I-A or FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) program.
UMass sports information director Jason Yellin told 22News that UMass is always exploring ways to improve its football program. UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said it is premature to say if UMass will be making the leap to big-time college football.
The "Boston Herald" first reported a move in football only to the Mid-American Conference. The MAC has not offered UMass a formal invitation, but are looking for a 14th team. The conference has schools like Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan and Temple. UMass is good enough to compete against those teams on the field. On campus, UMass students are behind this idea.
"We'll definitely get more fans and a lot more recognition with the fans and the stadium will be more full", says UMass freshman Nick Duska.
UMass freshman Zack Tucker says, "Better competition and more fans because they want to see other teams and if UMass can beat them."
If the move does go through, UMass would not be a full-member of any FBS conference for at least two years.
With teams like Northeastern and Hofstra dropping their football programs and Villanova possibly moving to the Big East. Moving to Division I-A (FBS) may be the best way for the UMass football program to survive in the long run.