Of the eight University of Maryland varsity sports originally slated for extinction last fall, athletics director Kevin Anderson announced today that the men's outdoor track and field department will be the only program to continue.
Maryland mens track and field will compete with 14 student-athletes during the 2012-13 outdoor season. The necessary funding raised to save the program will not allow Terps men's track to continue in perpetuity, however. Supporters, alumni, parents and Maryland Athletics staff will need to continue to meet benchmarks in order to ensure its survival.
The support and effort put toward saving these sports has been noteworthy, said Anderson. Much work needs to be done, but were fortunate that we now have a chance to preserve the long legacy of success that mens track and field has enjoyed at Maryland, including a string of 25 years of ACC team championships from 1956 to 1980.
Head coach Andrew Valmon, who will be the mens track head coach for Team USA at the London Olympics, will focus on his plans for the continuation of the Terrapin track program following the Olympic Games.
I want to thank everyone who has supported us to this point, said Valmon. We have a number of rising seniors on the team and giving them the chance to finish their collegiate careers at Maryland is important to all of us in the program. We have much work to be done in the near future, but this gives us a continued chance to be successful.
In addition to mens cross country and mens indoor track and field, the sports of acrobatics and tumbling, mens and womens swimming and diving, water polo and mens tennis have been discontinued, effective July 1.
Student-athletes and staff members have been informed of this decision. As previously announced, all scholarships to student-athletes who remain at Maryland will be continued and all coaches contracts will be honored.
I would like to personally thank the student-athletes, coaches and supporters of swimming and diving, mens tennis, mens cross country and indoor track and field, water polo, and acrobatics and tumbling for their tremendous contributions to the University of Maryland, said President Wallace D. Loh. The decision to reduce the number of varsity sports was a difficult and painful one, but I believe that our athletics department will continue its excellent work in preparing our student-athletes for success on and off the field.
We understand the pain and disappointment this has caused our student-athletes and their families, said Anderson. The deliberations of the Presidents Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics were painstaking.
No one wanted to come to this conclusion, but our fund-raising efforts in these other sports have not been successful. I personally want to thank everyone for their efforts. Our student-athletes and coaches competed this season with pride and excellence in a difficult situation.