But the impact could go beyond a sense of connection.
“When the M Club calls and wants me to contribute to the school, it’s going to be a hard thing because I know my money’s not going to the same place that gave me a scholarship,” said Lancaster, who works as an engineer with Kaiser Permanente.
Then there’s Bugg, who practices law in Virginia and the District. He’s 31, possesses a strong emotional tie to the school and is professionally successful. That’s the profile of the sort of donor Maryland must cultivate to eventually create long-term financial stability within its athletic department.
The end of the track program would not make the athletic department’s sales pitch to him any easier.
“As much as it would pain me, I think my relationship with the school would be zero,” Bugg said. “I’m a season ticket holder for football and basketball, [and there’s] no way I would renew them. I’d have no track team to support, so no reason to come to campus or spend any money on merchandise. School was more than just track for me, but I wouldn’t feel like a Terp anymore.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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