MAC officially adds UMass as newest member

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Following up on the reports that surfaced Tuesday, the MAC officially introduced UMass as the 14th member of the 65-year-old conference.  The introduction was held at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots and future home of the majority of the Minutemen’s home games.

UMass, which currently competes at the Div. 1-AA (FCS) level in football, will begin conference play for the 2012 football season and will be eligible for the conference football championship game and a bowl game beginning in the 2013 football season.

“The University of Massachusetts will add to the academic stature of the Mid-American Conference and bring a strong tradition and depth to our conference,” said MAC commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher in a statement. “The UMass football program will add quality to our conference’s football programs and balance our divisions. In addition, this addition allows our conference to expand our footprint into New England and into the Boston and Hartford/Springfield markets.”

“We feel the time is right for this landmark decision of UMass football elevating to the FBS level,” said UMass athletic director John McCutcheon. “Playing in the FBS is where UMass should be positioned as the flagship campus of the state system. The opportunities to play on a national level and what that means for exposure and visibility will be a tremendous asset not only for athletics, but for the entire university. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to join the Mid-American Conference and develop relationships and rivalries with its members. To have the opportunity to play those games at a state-of-the-art facility like Gillette Stadium really is one of the key factors that makes this transition possible.”

UMass’ jump to the MAC gives the conference 14 football members divided into two seven-team divisions.  The Minutemen Will Likely be placed in the East division, which means one member of that current seven-team division will likely make the switch to the West.

UMass joins Temple as the only two football-only schools in the conference.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.