A few weeks ago a special committee offered a recommendation to University President Wallace Loh that he needed to cut some teams to help balance the athletic department's debt. Loh issued a statement this morning confirming the report, and outlining the plan to cut six programs (eight teams) by June of 2012. You can read the whole response here, but here are some of the highlights.
The Commission’s recommendation to downsize to 19 teams would place the University of Maryland just below the ACC average of 21 teams. Our investment per student-athlete would rise from near the bottom to the top half of the ACC. The Commission’s financial plan is prudent and sustainable. It does not seek to eliminate immediately the budget deficit, which was several years in the making. It stretches out the deficit reduction period to avoid causing even broader pain today.
This is obviously a sad day for the University and their Athletic Department, but they were simply being stretched too thin. It was unsustainable. It is important to note that the University plans to honor all outstanding scholarships to these athletes, and will pay the balance on any coach's contract that has been effected by these cuts. Here is a little more on the timeline of when these cuts could help balance the Department's deficit.
It balances the annual operating budget by fiscal year 2015 and it balances the cumulative operating deficit by fiscal year 2019. It also starts rebuilding an ICA contingency fund for unanticipated expenses. This fund was depleted last year to cover the growing deficits of previous years.