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William & Mary Reinstates 3 Women’s Sports

October 21, 2020 / Athletic Administration
A sense of normalcy is returning to the College of William & Mary athletics department. Shortly after former athletic director Samantha Huge resigned after the backlash of slashing multiple athletic programs, the Tribe announced this week that some sports are returning.

william & Mary
Photo: William & Mary athletics department / Creative Commons

Women’s swimming & diving, gymnastics, and volleyball have all been reinstated while the four men’s sports that were previously axed — men’s swimming & diving, men’s gymnastics, as well as men’s indoor and outdoor track & field — remain cut for the time being, according to an issued press release from the Tribe athletics department.

In the press release, the school acknowledged the possible violations of Title IX rules as part of the reason for the return of the women’s programs.

“The plan prepared by the Department of Athletics implemented discontinuations to address structural budget deficits exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to begin remedying long-standing gender equity imbalances inconsistent with the requirements of Title IX,” the school wrote in its press release.

“Subsequently, the university received notice of intent to sue on the grounds that the announced plan, including the cuts and the associated roster adjustments in other sports, would not fully meet Title IX standards.

“After a detailed review, Interim Director of Athletics Jeremy Martin concluded that attainment of the anticipated roster adjustments was uncertain and the plan would not achieve equity in participation by next fall. To bring about decisive progress more swiftly, the three women’s sports would need to be restored.”

It appears that four men’s programs that were cut will not return in the near future any time soon.

“As a result of today’s announcement and decision, Martin said there is no clear and easy pathway to reinstate the four suspended men’s programs immediately while making significant progress toward gender proportionality within the department,” the school said.

The past month and a half has been a trying time for Tribe Athletics, as it was learned that Huge plagiarized part of the school’s announcement of the cuts from a Stanford release earlier in the year. There was also a campaign launched in an attempt to save the swimming & diving programs.

“We know that this process has caused pain,” Martin said. “We will need to continue rebuilding trust by our actions going forward. We have moved quickly over the last week to meet with students, coaches, and alumni groups supporting alternative solutions for all the affected teams. We remain committed to that effort. William & Mary has a long history of emerging even stronger from adversity. With the help of our whole community, we will do just that.”

To read the full press release from William & Mary on the reinstatement of three women’s sports, click here