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UMass will join Mid-American Conference as a full sports member in 2025

UMass men's basketball player Daniel Hankins-Sanford. (Provided Photo/Chris Tucci via UMass Athletics)

CLEVELAND (AP) — UMass will join the Mid-American Conference as a full member starting in the 2025-26 academic year, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said Tuesday.

Steinbrecher confirmed that the MAC’s council of presidents voted Monday to admit UMass. The league will make a formal announcement on Thursday and there will be a news conference on the school’s campus next week.

Steinbrecher did not offer any other details on the conference’s agreement with UMass, which was a football-only member of the MAC from 2012-15.

“We look forward to the relationship,” said Steinbrecher, who spoke to The Associated Press after a news conference for the upcoming Women’s Final Four in Cleveland.

The Minutemen currently are an independent in football and compete in the Atlantic 10 in most other sports, excluding men’s hockey, which is part of Hockey East.

UMass is the only A-10 school that plays football at the highest tier of Division I, known as the Bowl Subdivision.

The Minutemen had a football-only membership in the MAC when the school first moved up from the Championship Subdivision to FBS from 2012-15. They won only eight games during that time and were essentially booted from the conference.

They have operated as a football independent since but have yet to win more than four games in a season. The addition of UMass gives the MAC 13 full members, mostly located in Ohio and Michigan, and will now give the conference reach into the Northeast.

With Army set to join the American Athletic Conference in 2024, UMass’ move would decrease the number of FBS independents to two: Notre Dame and UConn.

AP College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.