The University of Maryland athletics department launched a new fundraising initiative Tuesday. The initiative, called “More than the Score,” aims to offset the department’s financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Tuesday release.
In a Sept. 16 news conference, Maryland athletic director Damon Evans estimated that, without a football season, this university would lose about $60 million. And while that loss has likely been curtailed by the return to play set for late October, the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are lasting.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Maryland Athletics family has stayed committed to supporting one another,” Evans said in the release. “Our program remains strong. And yet, the financial impact of the virus has cut us deeply.
The department has already enacted a number of cost-cutting measures. Staff members at certain levels of the department have seen salary cuts, and a department-wide budget and hiring freeze remain in place, according to the release.
However, the pandemic has brought on a number of other financial responsibilities. COVID-19 testing, specialized health services such as ECGs and cardiac MRIs, mental health support and technology support for virtual learning have all added to the department’s operational expenses, the release said. The Big Ten has said it will pay for the testing of football players, according to the Washington Post.
Individuals who donate to the campaign will receive a range of rewards depending on the size of the donation, from limited edition T-shirts to a permanent display in Xfinity Center. Donations to this campaign do not count toward annual membership levels for Terrapin Club, the department’s normal fundraising arm.