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The UMass Minutemen are the athletic teams that represent the University of Massachusetts Amherst; strictly speaking, the Minutemen nickname applies to men's teams and athletes only — women's teams and athletes are known as Minutewomen. The Minutemen and Minutewomen compete in NCAA Division I sports competition primarily as members of the Atlantic 10 Conference. UMass is one of only 15 universities in the nation that plays Division I FBS football and Division I men's ice hockey (six of which are in the Big Ten Conference). The nickname is also applied to club teams that do not participate within the NCAA structure. nitiated in 1877, the baseball team was Yankee Conference champions in 1952, 1957, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1978, 1979, and 1980, and Atlantic 10 champions in 1980, 1994, 1995, and 1996. They reached the NCAA tournament in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1978, 1995, and 1996, and the College World Series in 1954 and 1969.
UMass (Massachusetts Agricultural College) played its first varsity basketball game in 1900. Today, the Minutemen are members of the Atlantic 10 basketball conference, of which it was regular season co-Champion in 2007. This marked the first time it won or shared the league title since the last of its five consecutive Atlantic 10 championships in 1996. During the 1990s, the men's basketball team was known as one of the finest in the nation, holding the number one ranking in national polls for extended periods. Under the leadership of then-head coach John Calipari and players such as 1996 National Player of the Year Marcus Camby, Harper Williams and Lou Roe, the Minutemen participated in the NCAA Tournament each year between 1992 and 1998, and reached the Final Four in 1996. However, a subsequent NCAA investigation found that Camby illegally accepted a total of $28,000 from sports agents that were attempting to lure him into the NBA Draft after his Sophomore season, and the school was forced to vacate its Final Four appearance as well as return their 1996 NCAA Final Four trophy. Camby eventually repaid the school the $151,000 in lost Final Four revenue that came as a result of the NCAA's ruling. While a Final Four banner still hangs from the rafters of the Mullins Center in defiance of the NCAA's ruling, the appearance is marked with an asterisk in official record books, even though it was noted that there was absolutely no institutional wrongdoing.