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Times Article Affecting Recruiting Efforts

A New York Times article chronicling the struggles of the University of Massachusetts’ football program has already had a negative affect on the program’s recruiting efforts, according to several sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

The article, entitled “Big Dream, Rude Awakening,” is being used by other programs to dissuade student athletes from committing to UMass. It is unclear what schools are referencing the article, but one source indicated that certain “Northeast programs are specifically using it” now that UMass has “made significant improvements in recruiting.”

Shane Huber, a linebacker that recently decommitted from UMass, cited the program’s “lack of stability” when making his decision. A source involved with recruiting indicated that Sam Zeff, a 2013 offensive lineman who committed to the program last summer, is starting to grow concerned after reading the article.*

“I will say that (Shane Huber) and Zeff were a little shook up when that report came out, and you know kids will believe anything sometimes,” a source told the Maroon Musket after the news of Huber’s decommittment surfaced.

Zeff reached out to the Maroon Musket via e-mail and indicated that he is not at all concerned with either article and remains fully committed to the university.

“I remain committed to UMass and its coaching staff and couldn’t be more excited about being a Minuteman,” he said. “I’ve never questioned my decision, and certainly wouldn’t allow one or two negative articles to change my position. I made a commitment to the school and I intend to honor it, with pride. Go UMass!”

Another source said that other “recruits have voiced concerns,” about the piece. Most of those recruits have “been in the New Jersey area.” The names of the other recruits were not disclosed, but there are currently six recruits committed from New Jersey: Richard Queen, Jordan Page, Enock Asante, Nate Crutchfield, Julian Taylor and Zeff.

“I don’t think the class will be decimated, but there are definitely schools that are trying to use false facts to flip some kids,” a source said.

The Times article, which appeared 17 days after a similar piece was printed in the Boston Globe, came on the heels of a Faculty Senate Meeting where an Ad Hoc Committee on FBS Football voted to not vote on suggesting a the possibility of moving the football program from the Football Bowl Subdivision to the Football Championship Subdivision. UMass has no plans to return to the FCS level.

Neither the school nor the athletic department have made an official comment on either piece.

* Ed. Note: After this piece was published, Zeff e-mailed the Maroon Musket to clarify the situation. The original sentence originally read: “Sam Zeff, an 2013 offensive lineman who committed to the program last summer, is starting to grow concerned after reading the article.” It has since been changed for clarification, and Zeff’s quote has been added.


  1. Dave says:

    Man, the more I read about Sam Zeff, the more I like the kid. Sounds mature beyond his years. Doesn’t hurt that he’s supposed to be an awesome lineman too! Go UMass!

  2. SJGMoney says:

    Nice comments by Zeff, great to hear. Harry Plumer had a quick article today with some quotes by Molnar. I think we are making more of this than perhaps the coaches are, they are more used to negative recruiting tactics and the lies and other bs that gets thrown around.

    We still have a reason to be extremely pissed off though, there was no reason this nonsense had to get publicized with even the slightest hint of credibility. All Swami, McCutchen, or Molnar had to say to the Times or the Globe was this simple quote “Any talk or thought that we will return to lower level football is complete nonsense and has no basis in fact or reality.”

    1. Bob McGovern says:

      SJG … turns out he is enrolling at the end of the month. Turns out you were right over on UMasshoops. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Bumpa says:

    Whew..thanks for the edit.

    I almost blew a gasket.

    Did Zeff confirm he is enrolling at the end of the month..? I love the fact he’ll be on the weights and in the Spring game.

  4. boris says:

    maroon musket needs to get a statement from coach molnar and the a.d. on this issue NOW!!!!!!!!!

  5. Mark says:

    I wonder if I can specify that my future donations to the university are not allowed to fund the departments of the professors on the Ad Hoc Football Committee. I’ll have to call the advancement office and find out.

    1. JMoore says:

      Just Send all donations to the 100 Yard Club- the team needs your support.

      Then, you can send a letter to the faculty senate to be read during their “new business and announcements”- might I suggest a photocopy of your 100 Yard club donation check to accompany your letter and a simple declaration that their actions have consequences?

      Faculty Senate Office
      105 Hampshire House
      131 County Circle
      University of Massachusetts Amherst
      Amherst, MA 01003

      I don’t give to the academic side of the university because I give at the office every day whether I want to or not.

  6. UM51 says:

    Someone up in Amherst better get vocally supportive, and real fast or this could turn into a sh.t show!

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