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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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More Conference Realignment: UMass Reportedly Heading to the MAC

  • Massachusetts is reportedly leaving the A-10 for the MAC in 2025.
  • It’s the latest school in a long stretch of conference realignment but for different reasons.
UMass
Arizona Republic

The University of Massachusetts is heading to the Mid-American Conference starting in the 2025–26 school year, college football insiders are reporting.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach first reported the news on X (formerly known as Twitter), shortly followed by ESPN’s Pete Thamel. All sports are set to join the new conference, per both reporters. MAC presidents voted Monday to invite UMass into the conference, which the school is “expected to accept,” Thamel wrote.

The Minutemen and Minutewomen currently compete in the Atlantic 10 conference, except for football, which is an FBS independent. UMass was a founding member of the A-10 in 1975 when its only sport was men’s basketball.

UMass is the latest school to make a change amid a long stretch of conference realignment driven by lucrative media rights deals at certain Power 5 conferences. Unlike those decisions, UMass’s move isn’t necessarily for TV dollars but is heavily influenced by football. Its football program played in the MAC from 2012 to ’15 but went independent because it didn’t want to become a full conference member. The A-10 hasn’t had football since ’06–07.

UMass could increase its media rights with a new agreement for the MAC on the horizon. The MAC is currently in a 13-year deal through 2027 worth reportedly $100 million. The A-10 increased its media rights revenue by 40% in a December deal with CBS Sports, ESPN, and NBC Sports. Representatives from UMass and the MAC have yet to respond to requests for comment.

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