The Latest: FBS independent UMass cancels fall football

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Photo credit FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2019, file photo Massachusetts players enter the field for an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, in Amherst, Mass. Massachusetts is the latest school from the Football Bowl Subdivision, college football’s highest level, to cancel its fall season. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

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Massachusetts is the latest school from the Football Bowl Subdivision, college football’s highest level, to cancel its fall season.

UMass is an independent in football and its decision affects only that sport. Most of UMass’ athletic teams compete in the Atlantic 10. Athletic director Ryan Bamford said the school will try to conduct a football spring season if possible.

“Our job as coaches and mentors is to provide opportunities for our players, and do everything in our power to not take them away,” coach Walt Bell said. “Today’s news was devastating, but we will be resilient and prepared to be our best when our best is required.”

UMass joins fellow independent UConn, Old Dominion and all the schools in the Mid-American Conference and Mountain West, a total of 27, in postponing its football season.

UMass joined the FBS in 2012 and has not had a winning record since. The Minutemen were forced to try football independence when the Mid-American Conference pushed them out after the 2015 season. The program relies heavily on the revenue it generates from playing road games against Power Five schools and had been due to receive $1.9 million to play Auburn in November, but that game was canceled when the Southeastern Conference decided to play only league games.

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