University of Maryland cuts 7 sports teams, saves men's outdoor track

Tuesday July 3rd, 2012

Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson announced the school is cutting seven sports programs. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The University of Maryland has cut seven sports programs, but its men's outdoor track team raised enough money to save itself for at least next season, reports the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Barker.

"People ask me what keeps me up at night, and this is what keeps me up at night," athletic director Kevin Anderson told reporters. He called the cuts "one of the most difficult things I've ever encountered in my entire life besides death to immediate family members."

Men's cross country, men's indoor track, men's tennis, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, women's water polo and women's acrobatics and tumbling were the seven programs officially cut on Monday.

The men's outdoor track team raised $888,000, close enough to the goal of $940,000 set by the school, Barker reports. The team will need to raise a total of $1.88 million by Dec. 31, Barker reports. Still, the squad will only feature 14 athletes, roughly half of its previous roster size.

Other teams failed to reach the high funding levels. Barker reports that the swimming and diving programs, for example, raised $184,716 of their needed $11.6 million.

Maryland's outdoor track program could struggle to sustain itself without cross country and indoor track teams. In many cases, the same athletes compete in both track seasons, and distance runners often compete in cross country, too.

Maryland track coach Andrew Valmon is the USA men's head track coach for the London Olympics. The school did not disclose how much money it will save from the cuts, but finances were the primary motivation behind the move. Anderson said the school will honor all of its scholarships, meaning some of the savings will not be seen for a few years.

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