Can Maryland sustain 27 sports teams?
The subject is broached in a new Maryland athletics "strategic plan" that we took a long look at. http://bit.ly/1mWeXO
It's a tough climate for most universities, and Maryland is no different. Maryland's athletic budget rose from about $37 million in 2002-03, to $51.2 million in 2006-07, to about $58 million. The trend had been established.
Recently, for the first time in Athletics Director Deborah Yow's tenure, the budget --it was completed in August -- shrank, and difficult choices had to be made.
The roughly $55 million budget then had to be trimmed again -- by about another $1.3 million -- due to what Yow called "shortfalls in football season ticket sales and a projected loss in men's basketball season ticket sales which we attribute largely to the economy."
Yow says dropping sports is the last thing Maryland would do, but that it has to be part of the long-term discussion in this sort of economic climate.
By the way, the five-year athletic plan suggests that Maryland wants to change the climate at games to be more polite and sporting. It wants to direct students away from chanting you-know-what to opposing players.