In the meantime, Anderson said that new Big Ten revenues will provide Maryland athletes with additional money for academic support, training and nutrition.

Loh also said Maryland plans to use some of the Big Ten revenue on the academic side rather than returning it all to athletics.

“I want to use some of the money to support student financial aid for students as a whole,” Loh said. “We will be one of the very few universities in the country where you use athletic money to support the academic side of the house.”

Most athletic departments lack the resources to provide significant support, if any, to academic programs. Among the exceptions are Iowa and Alabama.

Alabama, the defending BCS national champion in football, has provided money for academic scholarships.

Loh also said Maryland will use $500,000 per year in existing athletic department money to expand mental health counseling for all students.

Loh said he was influenced by a February incident in which a university student shot two other students, one fatally, before killing himself. At a vigil following the shooting, Loh had become emotional. “Each of us is asking, what do we need to change to prevent or mitigate the chances of something like this happening?” he had said.

Loh said this week that mental health “is the number one issue among students across this whole country. Everybody is scrambling to increase mental health resources. So here’s an opportunity.”

In addition to its operating debt, Maryland has about $80 million in capital debt from building Comcast Center and upgrading Byrd Stadium.

The school hopes to also build an indoor practice facility, primarily for football. The commission recommended that Big Ten money not be used for such a facility, and Loh agreed.

Rather, Loh said the school would embark on a capital campaign to raise the $50 million to $80 million needed to build the facility.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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