Maryland's athletic department will earn a net of $375,000 in guarantees for the Terps' three-game non-conference football schedule in 2016, according to contracts obtained by Testudo Times through a state public records request.
The Terps will host Howard in their season opener on Sept. 3 and pay out a $325,000 guarantee for what will be DJ Durkin's first game as Maryland's head coach. The Terps will earn $500,000 to play at Florida International on Sept. 10 and $200,000 to play at Central Florida on Sept. 17.
The $700,000 Maryland will earn in guarantees, however, is all in offsetting payments for home games the Terps have scheduled against both FIU and UCF. The Terps paid $500,000 to host FIU in 2013 and will pay $200,000 when Central Florida visits Maryland Stadium on Sept. 23, 2017, so their total series costs are a net negative.
The Howard game is not part of a multi-contest series.
The Big Ten is shifting this season to a nine-game conference slate, which fills out the rest of the Terps' schedule.
The $325,000 Maryland will pay Howard for the Sept. 3 opener is a relatively low total by the standards some Power 5 football programs have set for themselves. Maryland paid out $400,000 for a game against Bowling Green last season, in the same month when at least USC, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Georgia paid $1 million or more for the right to host lesser opponents and beat them.
The Terps also won't lose any money on guarantees for their two-game series against Charlotte in 2022-23. The schools will each pay each other $300,000 to visit one another, and Maryland should manage a win in both of those games.
The hope, for the Terps and other Power 5 programs that schedule games against non-power competition, is that these guarantees pay for themselves in the form of higher win totals, low-stakes player development and ensuing bowl game assignments.