The 2012-13 schoolyear brought modest signs of financial progress for a Maryland athletic department that continues its long, slow climb out of debt. According to its NCAA financial report obtained via an open-records request, the department recorded a surplus of $346,541, an increase of more than $300,000 from the previous reporting period.
This surplus could help make a small dent in an operating deficit — the difference between debt and revenue — that has grown into the tens of millions of dollars as the ACC continues to withhold revenue because of the university’s upcoming departure to the Big Ten. According to the report, the athletic department’s annual debt service for athletic facilities reached $7.8 million, up from $6.7 million in 2011-12, while its outstanding debt balance on athletic facilities has increased from $55.96 million to $74.56 million. Such reported debt is not unusual — Tennessee, for instance, reportedly had a debt of $200 million in 2013, thanks mostly to upgrades it made to its football stadium.
Though overall revenue decreased by roughly $5 million from 2011-12 to 2012-13, ticket sales decreased by $1.7 million and contributions dropped by $799,514, Maryland managed to generate a larger surplus thanks to a reduction in expenses after the school eliminated seven sports in July 2012. The department shaved $521,852 off coaching expenses, $1.9 million off facility expenses like maintenance and rental, and $2.4 million off severance payments for former coaches and personnel. Operating expenses also fell by $4.7 million from year to year.
Revenue from Maryland football ticket sales dropped 33 percent in 2012, falling from $6.62 million in 2011 to $4.40 million. Men’s basketball enjoyed a boost of roughly a half-million dollars, overtaking football for the department’s leader in total revenue, while men’s lacrosse climbed above $100,000 in overall ticket revenue and women’s basketball fell by a relatively negligible $22,266. Overall, ticket sales dropped by $1.68 million.
The athletic department also received significantly less institutional support, getting $4.29 million in 2012-13 compared with $6.18 million in 2011-12.
According to the report, Terrapins football Coach Randy Edsall received $2,245,074 in total compensation and men’s basketball Coach Mark Turgeon received $2,124,431. Women’s basketball Coach Brenda Frese is the department’s third highest-paid head coach at $1,024,155. Nine football assistant coaches averaged $301,005 in total salary, compared with $269,596 for three men’s basketball assistants and $174,518 for three women’s basketball assistants.