Dartmouth AD Retires Following Title IX Mess

February 11, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationTop Story
Harry Sheehy, Dartmouth College athletic director, announced recently that he will retire in February following the wake of Title IX controversy over the summer.

Back in July, the Ivy League school announced the slashing of five athletic programs — men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing — saying it was part of an effort to save money in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

dartmouthThe decision received a large amount of backlash, including members of the women’s swim team threatening to sue the college for a violation of Title IX. Dartmouth eventually reached a settlement that brought back all five programs to the Big Green’s athletic department.

When the college’s president, Phil Hanlon, spoke on Sheehy’s retirement, he cited faulty data in Hanlon’s initial decision to cut those programs, according to a recent report from the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“To determine which teams would be eliminated, Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy and his team established a series of factors and considerations to be used in their assessment. We have recently learned that elements of the data that Athletics used to confirm continued Title IX compliance may not have been complete,” Hanlon said in the Jan. 29 statement.

California attorney Arthur Bryant, who represented the swim team members, met with Hanlon to demonstrate that the school was in violation of Title IX before the settlement was reached, the Union Leader reported.

“Dartmouth screwed up royally,” Bryant said when the deal was announced to the Union Leader. “It publicly announced it was eliminating teams to comply with Title IX when their elimination flagrantly violated Title IX.”

Title IX requires that schools provide equal access to all programs, including sports. Without the five teams, there were fewer opportunities for women Dartmouth students to engage in sports based on the student body population, according to Bryant.

“I have been honored to serve Dartmouth athletics and would like to thank our student-athletes and alumni, DAAB, Dartmouth’s senior leadership group, the department’s senior leadership team, and all those who have supported our mission — within our department, across campus, and beyond,” Sheehy said in a statement.

Peter Roby, a Dartmouth alum (Class of 1979), a former Dartmouth assistant men’s basketball coach, and former Harvard head men’s basketball coach, was named interim athletic director.

“I’m honored and humbled to be asked to serve the college and will do all I can to bring our athletics community together,” Roby said.

To read the full story from the New Hampshire Union Leader on the Dartmouth AD retiring, click here