UMass Amherst football will avoid a threatened NCAA probation by boosting attendance numbers over last season. But the team is struggling in its second year since moving to college football’s top division. The Minutemen play their last home game of the season on Saturday.
The school needed to average 15,000 fans at home this year, and with more than 9,000 tickets sold for the final game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, it’s guaranteed to reach that mark, but attendance has dipped recently from a mid-season high. UMass Athletics Director John McCutcheon says that’s partially due to a decline in student attendance.
“Their attendance has fallen off here in the last couple games, and I think that’s somewhat understandable,” McCutcheon says. “That’s one of the reasons we’re also looking forward to next year when we’ll have three games back here on campus, and three games down at Gillette.”
This week the Minutemen play the University of Akron. UMass beat Akron last year for its only victory of that season. But this year Akron has a better record: three wins so far, compared to the Minutemen’s one.