Maryland men's outdoor track team safe for another year

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

Donations ensure Terps will continue in 2014

Outdoor track and field at the University of Maryland has collected enough private donations to sustain itself through 2014, the school announced Tuesday.

After Maryland announced in the fall of 2011 that track was one of eight sports in danger of being slashed in response to a growing athletics deficit, the track program collected $888,084 in nine months, ensuring survival through 2013. In order to remain afloat through 2014, nearly $1 million more needed to be collected by the end of this year.

"We are very excited to continue the outstanding legacy of the men's track and field program," athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. "We sincerely appreciate the commitment and dedication made by our student-athletes, coach [Andrew] Valmon and his staff."

Shortly after announcing last month that Maryland was leaving the ACC to join the Big Ten Conference in 2014, Maryland president Wallace Loh formed a commission to study long-term investment of the increased revenue expected from the move. Loh said the school would consider re-establishing the sports that were cut last summer -- men's and women's swimming, women's water polo, men's cross country, men's indoor track, men's tennis and women's acrobatics and tumbling (formerly competitive cheerleading).

"We have reconvened the president's commissions, and with their help we will evaluate the potential of reinstating sports programs at Maryland once we transition into the Big Ten Conference," Anderson said. "Thanks to the generosity of our donors who stepped up to meet the financial challenges, we will continue the men's outdoor track and field program and give the president's commission the time they need to evaluate long-term options and come back to us with some recommendations."

Track at Maryland has had a storied tradition, producing world-class athletes such as hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah. Valmon, coach of the U.S. team at the Olympics last summer, is in his 10th year in College Park.

"I want to thank our administration, fans, alumni and supporters who have been behind us during the past year," Valmon added in the release. "I am very happy for our student-athletes who have shown a strong commitment to our program through this entire process. This is an exciting first step as we look forward to the start of our competitive season."

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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