Saturday, April 14, 2018

UMass Football News--April 14th, 2018






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Matty Vautour reports on the Spring Game. Perhaps the biggest news is that starting right tackle Jack Driscoll is leaving.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has re-cap of the game.

The UMass website has a story on the game.

My take:

  • Syracuse transfer Jordan Fredericks looks like the real deal. He looked fast and powerful. The UMass running game looks like it will be improved in 2018.
  • The UMass offense in general appears to be the best team we have had since our move to FBS. This squad is deep at QB, RB and WR.
  • QB Michael Curtis displayed a nice touch on his throws and looked fast when he ran the ball. I think he'll be in the mix for 2019.
  • Jesse Britt was used at both RB and WR. He's real athlete.
  • Walk-on WR Jovann Tucker looked like a find. He displayed good hands and some serious speed.
I think UMass fans have reason to be optimistic in 2018. We should score a ton of points.

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26 comments:

Valerie French said...

I was definitely impressed with Randall West (12-16 235 4td'S) s/b in the mix after Ford!

Anonymous said...

Driscoll 's not leaving - the school is pushing him out. Graduating early means he's a smart hard working kid all the while he is sacrificing his time and energy to the football program, and the so called School Executives and Dept Heads who say they support UM Football really seem to have let the program down. Whip seem really pissed about it, and justifiably so. Very sad!!!!

UMass74 said...

West had a nice TD pass in the fourth quarter. He still seems a little uncertain in his footwork. Still, he should make a strong bid to be starter in 2019.

anonymous said...

The Gazette story about Jack Driscoll is hard to fathom and disturbing.
Solid kid, graduates in three years with the enormous time burden of football and he isn't accepted into Umass business school??
What am I missing??
Why is there no coordination between the programs??
He started all 12 games last year and accomplished his academic load.
It seems that someone has a very specific reason to make this not happen.

msumassfootball said...

Really sad about Driacoll. You said it best, Anon.^: He'll probably end up at BC, UConn, Syracuse, or perhaps Harvard or Yale. Great young man. Our loss will be another program's big gain, for sure. I just don't understand why he was rejected? Frank, can you keep us posted as to where Jack may end up?

I think West will be the backup to Ross, but Curtis may also be in the mix. It's great to have the luxury of choice.

James Pierotti said...

Whipple isn’t Meyer or Saban. He has zero and I mean zero clout with the school behind the scenes or in front of the media. He shouldn’t cast dispersions to the school publicly. If that kid couldn’t get into the MBA program then too bad! I don’t care if he was Phil Steele all-independent.

Anonymous said...

Truly classic Umass in the handling of the Jack Driscoll situation. More Umass being Umass leadership!

Ryan McKinney said...

Isenberg's MBA is ranked #55 and has 51 students, the Top 50's average enrollment is 467. At other schools in our weight class there might a bit more room to bend the admissions standards because someone who typically wouldn't fit the admissions profile isn't going to have as large of an impact on things that the school is ranked upon. Things like average GMAT and GRE scores, average GPA, starting salary, recruiter and employer reputation, etc. If UMass didn't think that Driscoll was a good candidate for their profile, they really don't have a lot of room to make an exception. Even a slight decrease in their scores could drop them quite a bit in the rankings, which ultimately hurts FUTURE admissions.

The closest school we could compare to would be Syracuse who has 52 students, but they're also 15 slots behind at #70. Everyone else seems to have at least close to double Isenberg's MBA enrollment. I'd think that Syracuse would have a hard time "bending the rules" too, and they have a much more influential athletic department.

The thing is we don't know what Driscoll's profile looks like. It can be very hard to graduate in three years and it's quite an accomplishment, but it doesn't mean he has the GPA, GMAT, GRE, experience, or whatever else admissions wants to see. The situation sucks, but that's the only REASONABLE explanation I've been able to come up with.

I think we can be sure there's not a conspiracy to keep out football players from the MBA program.

Ryan McKinney said...

^ I'm sorry to put things so blunt and harsh. I just feel I need to play devil's advocate here.

James Pierotti said...

Very well put Ryan. I know what it takes- I earned my MBA at Babson 15 years ago. The Isenberg has come a long well since then and is very selective too. But Whipple can’t publicly knock the process. We’ll find another right tackle for goodness sakes.

Anonymous said...

Ryan the academic benchmarks is one thing but there are also many critical intangibles that measure a high level person, businessman or students quality. Did you play D1 football? Do you have any idea what it takes to be both a high caliber college football player and a high caliber college student all at the same time? If you were not both at the same time I cannot expect you to understand. If you think only A students make up all the best business leaders you are sadly mistaken and nieve. A high quality student who is a stand out football possess so much more than so many others.

Bureaucrats make these decisions, but School Executives and Dept Heads are suppose to weight in on calls like this. Clearly they screwed this one up.

Anonymous said...

"It can be very hard to graduate in three years and it's quite an accomplishment, but it doesn't mean he has the GPA, GMAT, GRE, experience, or whatever else admissions wants to see."

Absolutely. Finishing an undergraduate degree in three years while also playing a D1 sport is impressive, but an admissions committee probably isn't going to care about that if an applicant's grades and test scores aren't competitive. A committee can be flexible about GPA, GMAT, etc, if an applicant already has a graduate degree and/or an impressive record of relevant work experience. Unfortunately, my guess is that Driscoll doesn't have the experience to make up for any issues with grades and test scores, assuming that's what kept him out of the MBA program.

Out of curiosity, I took a quick look at SOM's admissions standards, and the average GMAT score for MBA students is 639. This, according to Kaplan, falls JUST outside the top 25%. Some MBAs at Isenberg were admitted with scores below this, and it looks like the school will sometimes waive the GMAT requirement, but only for applicants with an advanced degree and/or substantial professional experience, but not always. I can definitely see how someone right out of college could be rejected from the MBA program without the GPA and test scores.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago there was a statistical study in an orthopedic journal trying to correlate performance as a resident with their applications.
Department chairmen were asked to pick their best residents and their applications were then reviewed.
There was NO STATISTICAL CORRELATION BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND GRADES, TEST RESULTS, OR PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS....YOU CAN'T GRADE A CHARACTER.
There was a weak positive correlation with participation in college athletics...any sport any level.
Now its anybody's guess why this correlation holds true but my guess is that is has to do with time management and task completion.
There is more to life than test scores. and a business school should know that!!

Anonymous said...

The thing is, even if Driscoll DID have the grades and GMAT scores expected of an MBA student, that wouldn't guarantee him admission to the program. As many have pointed out, it's not all grades and testing. He was probably competing for a spot in the MBA program against people who not only had strong undergraduate GPAs and GMATs, but years of internship and work experience, as well, and perhaps even graduate degrees.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add, I've commented here a couple times under the impression that Driscoll applied to be a full-time MBA student, which is based on the statement from Whipple that he didn't get into "business school."

I'm not trying to imply that Driscoll should've taken this path instead, but don't some student athletes take grad courses though the School of Continuing and Professional Education after completing their undergrad degrees? I could be totally wrong about this--and please correct me if I am--but I think they can enroll in some continuing ed programs as grad students right away. And though I think you're not supposed to take a full course load through continuing ed, I believe you can get a waiver to do so, which might satisfy NCAA requirements. Can anyone clarify?

Ryan McKinney said...

"Ryan the academic benchmarks is one thing but there are also many critical intangibles that measure a high level person, businessman or students quality. Did you play D1 football? Do you have any idea what it takes to be both a high caliber college football player and a high caliber college student all at the same time?"

I've already acknowledged the difficulty of being a football player in college and acknowledged the difficulty of juggling that while also graduating early. It is quite an accomplishment. While accomplishments like that should be factored into the admissions process (because it does say a lot about a person's work ethic), it shouldn't be the end all be all. The admissions board clearly did not think his profile fit the school. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, rejections happen every day.

As far as did I play football in college? No I did not. But isn't that an appeal to authority? Actually I'm not even sure if the argument can stand on that, because you didn't even provide a source from authority to justify your claim, instead your asking for MY authority. Simply because I did not personally experience something does not mean I can not rationally assess it.

Just to fulfil your appeal, my father is a former college football player so I asked him if football got him into grad school. He told me, "playing football in college reinforced a lot of life skills. Leadership, responsibility, ability to prioritize and multitask... but no not directly".

If you really want to pick apart his situation, maybe his answer is different because he played DIII football for the Coast Guard Academy, he had almost a decade of leadership experience in the Coast Guard before applying to grad school, and he received his MBA from a different school than his undergrad. Even still, I'd think he'd have the authority to speak (again if you really want an answer to your appeal to authority) about "what it takes to be both a high caliber college football player and a high caliber college student all at the same time". Yes it's tough, it doesn't mean it's the key to open all doors.

"If you think only A students make up all the best business leaders you are sadly mistaken and nieve. A high quality student who is a stand out football possess so much more than so many others."

I don't think my argument ever implied that all the best business leaders were A students. The best business leaders do not necessarily even have their MBA, or for that matter a college degree. Some were terrible students, some were great.

We don't know what the input was (Driscoll's profile) we can only assess the output (rejection). And by the way there's nothing standing saying that output is correct. It's possible that Whipple's statement is misinformed, is it not?

msumassfootball said...

All have made good point. Something is missing from Jack's applicant profile, and that is indeterminate. Still, for a young man to graduate in three years AND start on a D1 football program is no easy task. The commitment alone, to two full-time endeavors, is sufficient evidence of his mettle, industry, resolve, and strength of character. I'm wondering if the chancellor or Bamford made an attempt to intercede on his behalf. Even if Driscoll fell in the 75th percentile of applicants, I think he should have been admitted. As I said before, our loss will be a big gain for another program. I'm guessing BC, UConn, ir Rutgers will be very interested. Good luck to JD.

Anonymous said...

Like anonymous above, I see his Pt. A student spreads 15 credits/semester across a layout of daily courses spread out in a convenient manner to start and end a day that is convenient to them all the while including windows of time allocated to study and downtime, all the while getting a good night sleep.

Now let's take a look at an academically strong football player. They have to cram all their classes before noon which means they get up early every morning with no time for study in the am. That leaves them just enough time to eat lunch get to the training table, watch film, go to pre-practice meeting, then a 2 hour practice and finally team dinner. It's now 7:30 pm. He is physically and mentally exhausted at this time, and although he hasn't had a moment of rest or downtime since he woke up, he must now find the energy to study, but not too long of study because he has to get up early the next morning for his classes. Oh and BTW Driscoll did that for 3 yrs taking 7 classes per semester and not 5. How does that impact someone's GPA or GMAT.

Without knowing the details, I can tell Driscoll is a an amazingly hardworking and tenacious star who at a very young age already possesses great qualities that any fine Business School or Business Company would love to have on their team.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, sorry if I offended you. That was not my intent. We all have different experiences and perspectives and it's important that we share them.
Ultimately I want Umass to be better Academically and Athletically, and Driscoll leaving UM with 2 years of eligibility did not make the school better, it made it worse.

Anonymous said...

Too much time spent discussing this. The administration is busy making sure field hockey and women’s lacrosse continue to have the resources to win. That is what is important, not football.

Anonymous said...

I like West. Obviously a great athlete with great size, but my only concern Frank is same as you, his foot work and technique seems to be off. More specifically he seems to throw off his back foot - which is very dangerous for interceptions! You can get away with that at many levels, but not versus D1's better defensive opponents. I've got to believe with Whip's expertise at QB he can fix this. We have 16 months to "Whip him into correct shape" if he is to be our QB his Sr season.

UMass74 said...

To West's credit, he stayed with the program with Ford and Comis ahead of him. He had a less than optimal outing against Mississippi State. I think all UMass fans want him to do well. He's still got a year. He's got the size and arm. We'll see in the Spring of 2019.

Anonymous said...

The tweeter in charge(Bamy) has spoken,Whipple spoke out of turn. Could this cost him his long rumored extension? Or was it not happening anyway? Who is in charge? Good luck to Driscoll, since he was fired by the musket.

Anonymous said...

Any word on Comis' health?

James Pierotti said...

Kudos to Ryan for properly filling out a profile. All these Anonymous comments ...I don’t like them. I filled out my profile a long time ago. I love Frank’s work! I visit this site first thing every morning. This comment thread is the most active I’ve seen in a very long time. But with all these Anonymous comments I can’t tell if it’s 10 people or 20.

UMass74 said...

Kudos to all who comment with their profile. The blog has been in my real name from day 1 and my real e-mail address is in the profile. I am responsible for the content.