William & Mary Reverses Course, Reinstates All 7 Varsity Programs Slated to be Cut

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Photo Courtesy: College of William & Mary

William & Mary has changed course on its reduction in varsity sports, announcing Thursday that it will reinstate seven programs that had been slated for discontinuation. That includes men’s swimming.

The university had announced in September that seven sports would be cut, including men’s and women’s swimming. The other affected sports included men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s indoor and outdoor track & field and women’s volleyball.

Last month, citing pending Title IX litigation, it decided to reinstate three women’s sports: Women’s swimming, women’s volleyball and women’s gymnastics. That move wasn’t received as well even by team members in the reinstated sports, with the women’s swimming team vowing to fight on under the “one family, one fight” banner. That has yielded, among other things, $3.6 million in pledges raised to fund the swimming team.

It also has forced the William & Mary administration to rethink its approach and the problems it was hoping to solve with the original cuts, the threat of Title IX lawsuits an indication that the changes weren’t achieving those goals. Hence, Thursday’s decision that all seven sports will remain through at least the 2021-22 season, allowing the school to undertake “a phased approach that allows for a gender equity review paired with exploration of alternative solutions leading to a long-term financial plan.”

The change comes with a change in athletic directors, with Samantha Huge resigning last month and Jeremy P. Martin installed as the interim AD. He performed a review of the decision, which led to the first reinstatements and now this large one.

“Since early last month, we have been engaged in a conversation about how to structure William & Mary’s Division I athletics offerings in a way that is equitable, financially sustainable and excellent,” William & Mary president Katherine A. Rowe said in a university release. “I appreciate that this has been an especially painful time for the students involved in the sports cut on September 3rd to endure.

“Many in our community – student-athletes, coaches, alumni, faculty and other supporters – have responded with passion, offering alternative solutions to the challenges facing the department,” said Rowe, adding she is grateful for Martin’s swift and thorough work over the past month to assess the path forward for W&M Athletics. “His recommendations address the reality that the athletics community needs time to confront together forthrightly: a status quo that is unsustainable with respect both to finances and mission.”

34 comments

  1. Dave Amezcua

    They must have read the Great Barrington Declaration! Awesome!

    • Marga Torrence Mikulecky

      Heidi Bauer Gurley Great university that was on our short list for Colin. Outstanding academics.

    • Heidi Bauer Gurley

      Marga Torrence Mikulecky remember I am a VA native, yes a great school

  2. Terry Orcutt

    Awesome news!! Congratulations!!

  3. Paige Rettig

    Hey Iowa… follow suit!!!!!

  4. Alexis Murray

    This Wahoo says congrats!!! ????

  5. John McCormack

    Congrats!!! All other schools and teams – keep fighting!!!

  6. Andy Gallion

    Most importantly, the AD who this is gone!