Both Democrats and Republicans agree that we should be reinvesting in math and science so that the U.S. can stay competitive and grow, well UMass should be a trailblazer in that field instead of beating the same tired path of unsuccessful football programs and saturated law schools.
The Boston Globe article about the severe struggles UMass football faced this season with its experiment of entering Division I Football and playing in Gillette Stadium, is another debacle that cost Massachusetts taxpayers millions. Not to mention in a time where public funds are tight, drawing football away from Amherst has been a huge hit on the local businesses hurting local tax revenues. The failure of UMass to draw crowds in its new massive stadium resulting in more cost overruns should be a surprise to no one. There are two reasons this was destined to occur:
1) Football Leaving Campus was never a good idea – Students want to roll out of bed in the morning hungover and hit the tailgate within a minute’s walk. Taking a bus an hour and a half each way to sit in an empty cold stadium with concessions triple the price does not motivate school passion among already lazy college students.
2) The UMass Alumni were never into it. – The argument to have games in Eastern Mass is that Saturday football would entice alumni to make the short drive from Boston or the surrounding suburbs. However, UMass alumni never bonded over a major football program experience while they were students, so the prediction with alumni was severely misguided.
UMass spending millions on an unprofitable and pricey venture is nothing new. The launch of the UMass law school a couple of years ago harkens the same fiscal irresponsibility. With an overabundance of lawyer graduating law school facing a historically anemic job market for attorneys, the idea was a waste of resources.
UMass has a lot of catching up to do to be competitive with other state schools and wasting precious public funds are not helping. States like North Carolina and Virginia whose public school systems are far inferior to ours, have top tier public Universities compared to UMass. It’s time for UMass to look to the future instead of repeating the failed mistakes of so many others. After all, the real team playing in Gillette gives us enough success on the field for the time being.