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Maryland Athletics Facing $4.7 Million Budget Shortfall In Current Fiscal Year, May Need To Cut Teams

Maryland athletics' budget shortfall may be worse than originally anticipated, according to numbers obtained by the Washington Post. Some of the 27 varsity sports may need to be cut.

We all knew Maryland's financial situation with their athletic department was bad, but a new report by Liz Clarke of the Washington Post indicates it is worse than we imagined. According to Clarke's report, the athletic department is facing a $4.7 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2012 alone, and that gap could balloon to $17.6 million in FY2017 if things do not change.

That might mean that the Terps would have to cut some of their 27 teams.

Based on that grim forecast of mounting deficits, the panel may recommend that Maryland eliminate some of its 27 varsity sports, four more than the ACC average of 23 and 11 more than the NCAA minimum of 16 for Division I membership.

The "panel" refers to the President's Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a group appointed by Wallace D. Loh to look at the Maryland athletics budget. They are expected to submit a preliminary report to Loh by the middle of November.

The shortfall has occurred despite the fact that the Terps spend less per student athlete than any ACC teams. Via Clarke's report:

Florida State, which offers 19 varsity sports, spends the most per athlete: $118,814. Maryland spends $67,390, less than 57 percent of Florida State's investment per player. All other ACC schools spend more than $71,000 per athlete, and five schools - Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Duke and Wake Forest - spend more than $100,000.

Knowing this, it may be time to focus more on certain sports and not spread the investment too thin.

For more on the Terps, visit Testudo Times.