Hopefully not, says athletic director Deborah Yow. But despite early predictions that the recession is over, the University of Maryland is exploring all scenarios that would enable to survive the current economic crisis.
A recent report has outlined possibilities for keeping the department financially stable enough while remaining successful throughout the coming years of potential hardship. The report includes suggestions for increasing revenues--always the first, through arguably most difficult, task. It is also one that includes reducing expenses. A second option is to scale back on select sports. And the final is the elimination of teams.
But with 27 teams--5 more than the ACC average--the "last resort" option is definitely a possibility if options one and two do not produce the intended results.
The report commented on Maryland's commitment to gender equity. No details on how that commitment might manifest in the above options. But we have to remember that, in Title IX circles, the Maryland athletic department is most (in)famous for making competitive cheerleading an intercollegiate sport despite the fact that it is not an NCAA-recognized sport. And despite the fact that there were other viable women's club teams that could have been elevated to varsity status.
We will have to wait to see how Maryland does both in managing its economic woes and meeting gender equity requirements.