'There's just a disconnect': Maryland basketball
January 24, 2022 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Maryland football has a ceiling on how strong fan interest can become, as the school has to compete with two passionate NFL fan bases in Washington and Baltimore. So I've been baffled by the school's decision to invest so heavily in a sport where they have to contend with heavyweights like Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan in their own division.
posted by 47WaysToLeaveYourLover (11 comments total)
 
I'm an alum, and an employee of the system for many years - the football and basketball programs, at least from my perspective, loom like alien + vaguely hostile entities at the edge of the College Park campus (even their version of our otherwise loveable mascot Testudo looks like a frat asshole). Hiring freezes, budget cuts, nothing ever really seems to impact sports facilities, staffing, or promotions.

It has been 30+ years - maybe ending with the death of Len Bias - since UMD sports really felt like they had a broad regional constituency. They've had some grotesque problems in recent years. It feels past time to accept that they're totally ancillary to what a public university should be investing its resources in in the 21st century.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:44 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


As someone born and raised in Missouri, I understand the sense of severed history the U of Maryland feels. Mizzou moving to SEC for football made sense, but losing out on BIG 12 basketball and our rivalry* with Kansas was a bitter price to pay.
posted by Groundhog Week at 3:53 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


OK, so What do we make of Indiana or UCLA or Syracuse or Louisville, so on?

Gee, I dunno, UCLA has 11 banners and played for another last year, Indiana has 5 and played for the one Maryland has, Syracuse and Louisville have both hung three.

So I've been baffled by the school's decision to invest so heavily in a sport where they have to contend with heavyweights like Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan in their own division.

Heavyweights Michigan and Penn State?! Not sure where that's coming from in a league where for the last 30 years Michigan State (10) has been by far the most consistent conference competitor and Ohio State (7), Purdue (6), Indiana and Wisconsin (5) all top Michigan (3) and do I need to say Penn State (0)?

I do hope Maryland get back to competitive shape as it's all good for the B1G - and their recruiting base couldn't possibly be better - but not sure I get the handwringing over their realistic position in Big Ten leave alone national legacy and lore.
posted by thecincinnatikid at 5:00 PM on January 24


Why does college football have to compete with NFL football? Seems like there are a lot of places where fans love to watch college on Saturday, pro on Sunday?
posted by smelendez at 5:19 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


The OP is referring to football when questioning the heavy investment in a sport, not basketball.
posted by RajahKing at 5:21 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Pro and college football teams don’t compete for fans, they share fans and their schedules are such that they don’t even play on the same day — by design.
posted by interogative mood at 5:41 PM on January 24


The title of the post says "basketball".
posted by NotLost at 6:02 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


There's confusion because the post reads as a pull-quote, but it's the OP's editorial.

Speaking of editorial, I was kind of surprised that the team's nickname (Terps) was consistently used, without even a single usage of the actual name (Terrapins).
posted by explosion at 7:11 PM on January 24


The OP is referring to football when questioning the heavy investment in a sport, not basketball.

Gotcha, you're right, completely my bad for misreading the intent.

Along with the title confusion I just assumed it was about basketball because other than some ACC titles from '74-'85 I can't really conjure a compelling reason to even talk about Maryland football?
posted by thecincinnatikid at 7:43 PM on January 24


I think, in theory, it's that a big and successful football programme builds loyalty among alumni (who then donate) and attracts students. Is UMD competing in the same pool for out of state students as Penn State and Ohio State?
posted by plonkee at 4:09 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Fascinating for me to read this as / through the lens of a Michigan Football fan, realizing that your fandom's great dynasty is now on the knife's edge between "collapsed" and "resurgent".
posted by bbuda at 10:01 PM on January 25


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