Maryland to announce today or tomorrow which teams are targeted for elimination

Final decisions to be made by university president

November 14, 2011|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

A University of Maryland commission is expected to make its recommendations public within the next 24 hours on which athletic teams are being targeted for elimination because of severe budget issues, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

Among the teams on the commission’s list of recommended cuts are men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, and women's water polo, the sources said. Those teams recently contacted recruits and said that letters of intent were being withheld because of the programs’ uncertain futures.

As many as seven other teams may be targeted. The university has decided to release the names of the teams today or tomorrow to minimize anxiety-provoking speculation by athletes and their families and supporters.

The President’s Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics was  created in July. It is examining conditions that led to the athletics department having to employ now-depleted reserves to balance the annual budget.

The commission, which was studying ways to boost revenue and cut costs, is to  issue recommendations by tomorrow to university president Wallace Loh.

Feedback on the recommendations will be solicited from the athletic department, athletics council and the executive committee of the University Senate. Then it will be up to Loh to make the final decisions.

The athletic department has a projected deficit of $3.5 million in the current fiscal year. The department also borrowed $1.2 million from a university auxiliary fund to close a budget gap at the end of the last fiscal year.

The budget problems’ origins date back years. We will have a look later today at some of those issues and how Maryland got to the situation it finds itself in today.

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