Frank Costello, the University of Maryland's track coach, resigned yesterday after looking into the future of nonrevenue sports and not liking what he saw.
An increaslingly tight budget, which will only worsen with implementation of Title 9, loomed, he said in confirming that he will leave the university after the Olympic trials in June to promote sales of outdoor tracks for Martin Surfacing of Baltimore.
There, he said, he will be making $13,000 to $15,000 more than at Maryland.
"I felt there was no future for me as a track coach," said Costello. "My yearly budget hasn't been increased since 1974, and our costs have skyrocketed. Tuition alone went up 13 percent last year, and travel costs are just unbelievable."
Costello said he made his decision in mid-December but wanted to wait as long as possible to announce it. He said that rumors were spreading and he "wanted to set everybody straight," by notifying his track team Tuesday.
Costello will meet with Maryland athletic Director Carl James next Tuesday to discuss naming a successor and future plans. James was not available for comment.
"I would like to stay on as a part-time coach," said Costello, "but it would depend on who is named new coach." Costello said he will strongly recommend his assistant, Stan Pitts.
"I've been thinking about this for a long time," Costello continued."The right offer finally came along. I'll be 36 in June, and felt I had to make a move soon. I didn't want to be faced with the prospect of being 46 and trying to make a move."
Costello, Ncaa high jump champion at Maryland in 1965 and indoor and outdoor Atlantic Coast Conference champion four times between 1963 and 1968, predicted that full implementation of Title 9 will probably mean the death of nonrevenue varsity sports for men and women.
"You just can't have equal funding for men and women in all the varsity sports that we have," Costello said.
"There just aren't enough dollars to go around.
"The day is coming when there will be no scholarships for nonrevenue sports, and they will just become club teams," he ventured.
"There's nothing wrong with Title 9, but it can't be done the way they want. Equal this, equal that just isn't realistic. You can only stretch a dollar so far."
Costello cited lack of fan support for women's sports as the basic problem, but asserted there is no solution.
"People would rather see massive perfomances," he said. "They would rather see a man high jump seven feet than a woman jumping six feet, even though a woman jumping six feet is more of an accomplishment."
Costello also worked with the Maryland women's track teams, including Olympian high jumper Paula Girven.