Terps' non-revenue sports appear safe for now

March 20, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

The University of Maryland Athletic Council recommended yesterday that none of the 23 sports sponsored by the athletic department be suspended for the 1993 fiscal year.

Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said the recommendation still needed to be accepted by president William Kirwan, but he expected Kirwan's approval.

The recommendation came amid speculation that the athletic department would suspend several non-revenue making sports such as tennis, swimming and golf. Geiger said recently eight to nine other scenarios were considered.

According to a prepared statement released by the university, the council recognized the severity of the financial difficulties the department is facing and will continue to work with athletic department officials to develop long-range plans to eliminate the accumulated deficit.

The athletic department is operating under a May 1990 agreement with the university administration to liquidate its deficit by 2001. Maryland's anticipated deficit at the end of fiscal year 1992 is estimated near $5.5 million.

"I'm delighted about not having the suspensions because I'm a sports fan," said Geiger. "But I'm also worried because I'm the director of management within the department. Now it's time to start cutting on the budget here and there."

Geiger said the funding base (salaries, operating budgets, financial aid) for many sports will be reduced while the fund-raising activities will be accelerated. Maryland is on a five-year campaign to raise $25 million.

When asked about possible layoffs within the department, Geiger said: "I really can't get into that. But I do know when you have to reduce, you can't eat full meals. I'm not fool enough, and no one else is fool enough, to believe the road we have to travel is an easy one."

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