There's been a lot of talk that Maryland athletics has very little money to spend, but we haven't yet seen one comprehensive study that breaks all the numbers down. That is, until now. ESPN's Heather Dinich, as part of a series where she and others look into whether schools could pay its college athletes, breaks down the numbers and suggests Maryland would have no chance.
To sum it up: football makes a little money, basketball makes the most money, and all the other sports lose a lot of money. Here's the grand total:
Grand total expenses: $51,418,347
Grand total revenue: $51,641,771
The more striking number, though, has to do with how little Maryland spends on its football program. The Terps had just $9.8 million in expenses in football last year. The only other ACC program to be close to that was North Carolina State ($10.4 million). Even football dormants Duke ($14.3 million) and Wake Forest ($12.5 million) spend more money than Maryland.
Much of the problem has to do with the Byrd Stadium lease and the fact that it's rarely full. With so little money being pumped into football, there isn't much potential to make money off it. SB Nation's Testudo Times blames old athletic director Debbie Yow.
Overall, I think these numbers reflect poorly on former AD Debbie Yow and probably help articulate why Maryland didn't have a problem giving [Ralph] Friedgen the boot. It was clear that many fans had grown tired of the big man and they were showing it by not putting their butts in the seats at Byrd, despite what was turning into a good season for Maryland. The revenue being lost by the lack of attendance for football games was probably more than what Friedgen's salary was for 2011, thus buying him out might end up making sense financially.
Ticket sales look better this year in the first year of the Randy Edsall era, but they're going to need to be strong in the future if Maryland wants to dig its way out of this financial hole.