If A UMass Press Conference Happens At Gillette, And The Athletic Department Doesn’t Make A Sound, Does The Press Conference Really Exist?

Take this as an open letter to the University of Massachusetts Athletic Department and Media Relations teams.

We can argue the merit of the hiring of Charley Molnar until we are blue in the face. The ultimate success, or failure, of the hire will be determined on the field.

There is one inarguable point surrounding this hire, though. Where is the university driven PR campaign? It’s nonexistent to this point. Did the athletics department already take off for the holiday?

The hundreds of Minutemen fans that actually check the official media pages of the University of Massachusetts woke up to this…

Crickets.

Tumbleweed. Well, there are mentions of hockey’s nice win over Yale. So the media relations team is still functioning, on some level at least. Unfortunately that level is not a very high one.

I can’t fathom a reason why only one official release has been issued by the University of Massachusetts. In that press release, according to Jeff Thomas of The Republican, the UMass media relations department said the 4pm presser would be “regarding the football program.”

Thus, to this point the University of Massachusetts has literally not yet acknowledged the hiring of any football coach. Note; we are slowly creeping up to the afternoon hours.

Had this been better coordinated, the university could have had at least some backing from Robert Kraft and the Patriots / Gillette Stadium family. According to media outlets, the Patriots have said nothing to this point about the press conference being held at Gillette.

If this university wants to be treated as other flagship public institutions are, especially in the area of athletics, there is much improvement to be made in the PR realm.

The lack of a public showing from the proper university authorities conveys zero consensus and confidence in what is going on over in Amherst regarding the football program. It gives otherwise supportive alumni pause, and the right mind to question if the athletic department can handle the FBS.

This isn’t BU, Northeastern or Hofstra we are dealing with anymore. It’s not even UNH, Maine or URI. The university, the football program and their alumni stand to be embarrassed further if the athletics department doesn’t get their act together. That embarrassment starts with a lack of respect from the local media, and can certainly continue to actual on-field results. Being a mid-tier MAC team shouldn’t be anyone’s goal. So, lets not act like it.

Those alumni that actually do care about UMass Football could easily have no idea about today’s events. If the university continues going down this path, the football team will struggle to sell a respectable number of tickets at Gillette. Before the team ever takes a MAC-field, they are being put at a disadvantage by their own athletic department and media relations department.

This is the one thing that the university can control, and to a large extent, at no cost to the university. Spin this. Get your prospective out there. Do something.

Changing the culture of the University of Massachusetts alumni to care about the football team is a daunting task. It will take increased effort and a new way of doing things. Right now, it appears the media relations team has already conceded defeat, and sadly we aren’t even at game one yet.

In short; I am thoroughly disappointed in what I am [not] reading this morning.

There have been numerous articles in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald on the candidate search. Now that there is movement, the university’s athletic department is going to give the major papers nothing? Nothing to lead with? Nothing to publicize this press conference?

The only excuse at this point is if the Globe and Republican reports are false, and there has been no coach hired. If that’s the case, the Minutemen fans have even bigger issues at hand.

See you at 4pm for the “secret” press conference.

  • matt

    this whole thing makes no sense its website its not that difficult why cant get these simple things correct its unbelievable and im not seeing the benefit to not announcing the name of the coach or not allowing season ticket holders to the event