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UMass Planning for Fall Sports With Fan Attendance | sports

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“Our efforts will focus on offering students a full residential, in-person college experience in September safely,” Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy wrote in a message to the Amherst community.  The announcement made UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford happy. Bamford said that the plans for fall are getting in gear.

UMass planning for fall sports with fans in attendance | Sports “We’re finalizing some schedules. From an operational standpoint, as much as you can get back to normalcy, I think we’ll be heading pretty aggressively in that direction,” Bamford said in a Thursday night phone interview with The Eagle. 

“The university is planning for more normal campus operations this fall, with campus live as close to pre-COVID times as possible,” the plan read. “The Fall Planning Group is charged with developing detailed operational recommendations for the Fall 2021 semester, which would include resuming face-to-face instruction, full residence halls, and a compliment of student events and activities. The report states that “over the summer, Athletics will assess pre-game tailgating and gatherings [for football] based on state restrictions for outdoor gatherings.”

The first item under Athletics and Competition is that Bell’s Minutemen will host six games at McGuirk, including an Oct. 9 game against New England Division I-FBS independent rival Connecticut. The UMass season actually opens on Sept. 4, on the road at Pittsburgh of the ACC. The UMass Fall Planning Group released a 15-page document that covered everything from public health and vaccinations, to teaching, to student services and dining. Carol Barr, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, and Tilman Wolf, senior vice provost for academic affairs were the co-chairs of the 23-person group.

The report goes on to recommend that UMass host home contests for other fall sports at full capacity. Those sports are men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and men’s and women’s cross country. “I think the next step, if we can get to that point which it looks like we’re going to, what are we going to do for tailgating and all the other things around the event that add to the experience.”

Football and men’s basketball players will move into their living facilities at the start of Summer Session 1, which begins on May 17. Women’s basketball, hockey, rowing and field hockey athletes will move in for the start of Summer Session 2, which is July 6.  “The fact that we start our fall season outdoors, we’re very hopeful that we can get anybody from the public that wants to come to our events — whether it be field hockey, soccer or football — that we’d be able to get them there,” Bamford said. “That’s the goal. I think we’re certainly heading in that direction. We haven’t finalized anything.

Fall sport athletes will report the first week of August. “The fact that we start our fall season outdoors, we’re very hopeful that we can get anybody from the public that wants to come to our events — whether it be field hockey, soccer or football — that we’d be able to get them there,” Bamford said. “That’s the goal. I think we’re certainly heading in that direction. We haven’t finalized anything.

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