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SBD/November 3, 2011/Colleges
Maryland's Athletic Department Faces Mounting Losses If Changes Aren't Made
Published November 3, 2011
Despite spending the "fewest dollars per student-athlete of any school in the ACC," the Univ. of Maryland’s athletic department is "on course to lose $4.7 million in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2012," according to Liz Clarke of the WASHINGTON POST. The school's budget deficit is "projected to escalate substantially over the next five years, ballooning to $17.6 million in June 2017 unless the department significantly increases revenue, slashes spending or both." Financial documents "lay bare just how severe the problem is and stands to become." Among them is a "chart showing that Maryland ranks at the bottom of the ACC in its spending per student-athlete." Based on the "grim forecast of mounting deficits, the panel may recommend that Maryland eliminate some of its 27 varsity sports, four more than the ACC average and 11 more than the NCAA minimum for Division I membership." UM spokesperson Brian Ullmann said that the President's Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics is expected to send a report on the matter to school President Wallace Loh by Nov. 15. Budget projections indicate that UM's athletic revenues "will grow 8.98 percent over the next five fiscal years, from roughly $57.8 million to $62.9 million." But expenses are projected to "grow 13.3 percent in that time, from roughly $62.6 million to nearly $71 million." While football "accounts for the bulk of Maryland’s athletic income, its ticket revenue is expected to remain essentially flat, though Maryland will get a boost of $3.5 million for playing two 'home' games" at the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium, in '13 and '14. Mandatory student fees "represented the third-largest source of income for Terrapins sports, accounting for $11.1 million this fiscal year, following revenue generated by football ($16.1 million) and men’s basketball ($12.1 million)" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/3).