The University of Maryland is going through some budget cuts and is cutting eight total sports, including women's water polo. Maryland sponsors 27 sports and is one of the most for any university to carry, so with budget cuts it is easy to cut some sports to save some money. Even with cutting eight sport,s Maryland will still sponsor more sports than most other schools.
Each sport that has been cut will will cease to exist on June 30, 2012, so just one more season and all athletes who are under scholarship will be honored. Also, teams can keep their sports alive if teams can fundraise eight years worth of program costs by June 30, 2012. It is nice to see the teams have a chance, but that deadline is just over six months away and it is unlikely that any program will be saved.
For the women's water polo team to survice they will need to raise $4,205,366 by the June 30, 2012 deadline, and they have set up a website online to where cash donations can be sent. They need all the support if they are to stay alive as a varsity sport.
One can easily blame the rising coaching costs for men's basketball and football coaches as for why these Olympic sports keep getting cut. However, obtaining football and basketball rights have increased over the past few years, and the ACC recently landed a 12-year deal worth $1.86 billion. That breaks down to $12.9 million per school and that could increase once PIttsburgh and Syracuse join the ACC from the Big East. So there is money to be had to cover costs for the sports that do not earn money. That contract also does not include bowl, post season money or other media rights the school gets.
Over at Testudo Times they break down how this happen and are saying the pressure is on for the football and basketball teams to succeed:
The most direct way to fix this mess, though, obviously lies in the success of the revenue sports. If men's basketball and football do become nationally competitive, the department sees an influx of money: more ticket sales, more merchandise sales, more suites purchased, more donations brought in. The problem would just about solve itself. If not ... those fundraising numbers might be a bit more difficult to reach. It seems strange to read 26 pages that has only one sentence explicitly about that topic (the one mentioned above), but that's the reality of the situation, and it needs to be the focus of Maryland's athletic department. The stakes for Mark Turgeon and Randy Edsall are really high right now, and they're much higher for Kevin Anderson, the man who hired both those coaches.
The Maryland women's team has only been a varsity program for only a few years and is the only ACC team to field a varsity team. The team has also been competitve, just last year Maryland won the Southern Division of CWPA and finished third at the Eastern championships, and was just one game away from getting a chance to advance to the NCAA tournament. In 2009 Maryland hosted the NCAA championships, so it is a shame that their world class pool will not be used for its intended purpose.