Save Tribe Swimming Creates Music Video to Ask Athletic Director to Reverse Decision to Cut Program

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Photo Courtesy: William and Mary Athletics

Save Tribe Swimming Creates Music Video to Ask Athletic Director to Reverse Decision

Members of the William & Mary swimming and diving team created a music video to ask Athletic Director Samantha Huge to reverse the decision on cutting its swim team last week. The video showcases members of the Tribe swimming and diving team explaining why their team should not get cut and asked why they were axed when the team has had so much past success.

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The video can be seen here:

William & Mary University made the decision to cut men’s and women’s swimming & diving, among five other sports, after the 2020-21 academic year, the school announced. The school will also be cutting Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics; Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field; and Women’s Volleyball.

“So many of us who work in intercollegiate athletics do so with a singular purpose: to impact the lives of our student-athletes,” Athletic Director Samantha K. Huge said in a statement. “On most every other day, we are working tirelessly to enhance their experience at William & Mary, and that is why today is so difficult to know that our decision — while necessary — is devastating for our students.

“As a department, we simply can no longer continue on an unsustainable financial trajectory. We will do everything that we can for the impacted student-athletes and coaches, and I sincerely hope they are able to participate in one final season of competition. Today is a sad day for all of us who love William & Mary.”

The university pledged to honor all current athletic scholarships of those affected through their scheduled graduation at William & Mary, according to the release. Those wishing to transfer will have the full support of the university.

Impacted coaches will be able to complete their current appointments.

118 student-athletes and 13 coaches have been affected by the decision as the school is estimating it will save $3.66 million.

This marks the sixth Division I school to lose its swimming and diving team this off-season, joining the likes of East CarolinaConnecticutBoise StateDartmouth and Iowa in getting their swim team cut to ease the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.William & Mary men’s swimming has won six straight conference titles in the CAA, as this past season culminated with Colin Wright making the NCAA Championships in the 50, 100 & 200 freestyle, becoming the first William & Mary swimmer since 1963 to make the meet. On the women’s side, the Tribe finished second at this year’s CAA Championships as they last won the title in 2017.

William & Mary is coached by Nate Kellogg who had spent three years as an assistant before returning as head coach in the 2019 season. He helped coach Wright to a spot at the NCAAs this season as the sprinter was seeded fourth in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free, and was seeded to put William & Mary in the top 25.

William & Mary men have not lost a CAA team title since 2014 as the program has really made a turn for the better at the start of the decade. Wright became the first male swimmer or diver since 1986 to make the NCAA meet and the Tribe have had eight swimmers qualify at the last two Olympic Trials including Katie RadloffAndrew StraitSidney GlassWill ManionHailey HewittAnnie Jaimie Miller and Jeremiah O’Donnell.

Katie Radloff was also the last women’s swimmer to make the NCAA meet for the Tribe, making the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle all four years of her career from 2007 – 2010.

8 comments

  1. Tricia Newman

    Pres Rowe can overrule Huge. Does she have the guts?!

  2. Shirley Mireault

    Many institutions I feel have been looking for an excuse to drop sports with smaller numbers of athletes and less income coming in, such as swimming and diving. They say it is an economic decision even while, in some places, increasing coaches’ salaries in other sports like football. College swim teams have good academics and graduate in 4 years, ..compare to sports like football where many do not graduate, even in 6 years! Good luck to these students as we need them to continue swimming and competing .

  3. avatar
    Swim mom

    Disappointing decision considering the team is primarily funded by an endowment and alumni donations. School saves pennies by cutting a team that has brought academic and scholastic prestige to the school.

  4. Lisa Fox Young

    Let the kids swim! They’ve worked so hard to have this collegiate athletic experience and brings good visibility to the school and the sport. Go Tribe! Rich Fox This happened at UMD in 2012 and they still don’t have a team back, only club swimming.

  5. Lisa Fox Young

    Riley Oscar Fox Tribe swim team, great video making their case to W&M!💦

  6. avatar
    Sally

    With ADs cutting non-reve sports in one breath than hiring a coach(s) or increasing coaches salaries in another breath seems a Watchdog committee should be developed. Any college/university taking federal funds/taxpayer’s money should have to prove why sussessful programs are being cut over programs that suck the financial life out the athletic spending. The virus didn’t cause this cutting -not having a watchdog committee overseeing athletic spending did. Look at the school’s who haven’t cut sports. Those school’s should be out there bragging how they can manage their funds. ” Come compete at our school and get and education.”

  7. avatar
    Sandy Ranck

    Save swimming! From a higher ed educator and a swim mom!

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