University of Maryland may cut eight sports teams

A University of Maryland commission has recommended eight athletic programs be cut due to budget constraints.

The commission recommends that “at a minimum,” men's cross country, indoor and outdoor track; men’s and women’s swimming/diving; men’s tennis; women’s acrobatics and women’s water polo be eliminated. It was rumored that swimming and diving teams would be eliminated.

The commission recommends in its final report to University President Wallace Loh that the sports be discontinued by July 1, 2012. It was rumored that swimming and diving teams would be eliminated.

Maryland has been spending more on sports than it has taken in, the report says. Last fiscal year, department of intercollegiate athletics ran more than $7.8 million in the red.

In previous years, reserve funds were used to balance the budget, but “reverses are now depleted,” the report states. By 2015, the total deficit is projected to reach $11.7 million.

Even if their sports are eliminated, the commission recommends all athletic scholarships to current students be continued until the students graduate, as would commitments made to recruits who have signed letters of intent. More 750 student-athletes currently participate in 27 sports at the university.

Among other things, the commission also recommends the university revamp its fundraising, reduce administrative costs and shift resources to the remaining teams.