Sure. It just worked out that way.
More than six months after Maryland revealed plans to eliminate eight athletic programsas a way to overcome a multimillion-dollar deficit, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson officially announced Monday that seven of those teams were unable to raise the necessary money for survival.
Men’s and women’s swimming; men’s tennis; women’s water polo; acrobatics and tumbling (formerly known as competitive cheer); and two men’s track programs, cross-country and indoor track and field, were eliminated. Those programs did not show enough progress toward raising eight years’ worth of total costs by June 30.
Anderson still maintains Maryland’s woes are part of a bigger picture of what’s plaguing D-1 athletics – “Anderson called football and men’s basketball ticket sales “very important” to the department’s revenue strategy, but he was quick to point out Maryland isn’t alone on this issue.” – but somebody needs to take a look in the mirror.
Maryland athletics faces such a dire financial situation largely because of declining revenue from its football and men’s basketball programs. After undertaking a $50.8 million expansion of Byrd Stadium in 2006, and accruing approximately $35 million in debt as a result, Maryland saw attendance at football games fall every year until this past season.
Meanwhile, Maryland men’s basketball watched its attendance drop by more than 1,700 fans per game this past season, the steepest decline among ACC schools.
Think the $2 million buyout paid to Friedgen and the $3 million just spent on a new football field wouldn’t come in handy right now?