They used two-for-one airplane tickets, doubled up on housing and watched their meal tabs.
Despite stretching their dollars and attending a bowl game on a shoestring, University of Maryland athletic officials were stuck with a $42,810 loss on the Terrapins' appearance in last December's Poulan-Weed Eater Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., The Evening Sun reported yesterday.
But, in the bowl business, a loss quickly can turn into a gain. Aided by its share of total Atlantic Coast Conference bowl revenues, the Maryland football program will realize a bowl profit of $500,000, according to athletic director Andy Geiger.
"I knew what the ACC rules are with revenue sharing, and I knew we'd be fine," Geiger said. "If I could keep the loss at break-even or manageable, I knew we'd be OK."
The Terps' $600,000 payout from the Independence Bowl disappeared quickly. Transportation, meals and lodging ate into nearly half the revenue. Head coach Joe Krivak and his staff received total bonuses of $23,000.
The biggest chunk of money went for tickets. Maryland was required to purchase 15,000 tickets at $25 each. The school managed to sell $51,803 worth of tickets, and donated the unsold seats to the Boy Scouts and Air Force personnel.
"There are more than a few bowls that are potentially loss leaders," Geiger said. "Everything came together for us."