Among them is a chart showing that Maryland ranks at the bottom of the ACC in its spending per student-athlete.
Florida State, which offers 19 varsity sports, spends the most per athlete: $118,814. Maryland spends $67,390, less than 57 percent of Florida State’s investment per player. All other ACC schools spend more than $71,000 per athlete, and five schools — Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Duke and Wake Forest — spend more than $100,000.
The spending comparison was derived from data in the federally mandated Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act for 2010. Per-athlete spending reflects many factors in addition to scholarships, such as coaching staffs, travel, athletic trainers, academic support staff and equipment.
The Post also received a spreadsheet that projects a $4.7 million deficit in the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2012, a shortfall that will more than triple in five years if not addressed. Members of the President’s Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics appointed by Loh reviewed similar budget documents.
Based on that grim forecast of mounting deficits, the panel may recommend that Maryland eliminate some of its 27 varsity sports, four more than the ACC average and 11 more than the NCAA minimum for Division I membership.
The documents raise difficult questions, both philosophical and practical, about the future of Maryland athletics.
For starters: Is it realistic to expect Maryland’s teams to contend for ACC championships and NCAA titles when its spending lags behind that of every other conference member?
If it’s not realistic, should Maryland reduce the number of varsity teams and fund those that remain at a competitive level?
The co-chairs of the commission — Barry P. Gossett, chairman of the university’s Board of Regents, and Linda M. Clement, the school’s vice president for student affairs — declined to discuss their work Wednesday, deferring to university spokesman Brian Ullmann.
Asked whether the commission felt it was possible to balance the budget through revenue increases alone, Ullmann replied in an e-mail exchange, “The Commission’s work is ongoing, therefore any comment on specifics would be premature.”
Ullmann said the commission is expected to send its report to Loh by Nov. 15 as scheduled. Loh is not expected to announce his decision until Dec. 31, after Athletic Director Kevin Anderson and the school’s Athletic Council, which advises Loh on intercollegiate athletics, have an opportunity to weigh in.