UMass Dartmouth Reinstates Women’s Swimming & Diving Program

UMass Dartmouth, a Division III school located in Massachusetts, has reinstated its women’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis programs, two of eight programs the school announced it would be eliminating in July 2020. The decision is effective immediately, and comes after a review of the athletics program’s overall strategy as it relates to Title IX and the proportionality test.

The six other programs, including men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s equestrian, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, and co-ed sailing, were not reinstated.

From the press release:

The University’s July 2020 decision was based on outside reviews of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program to provide the best possible competitive and co-curricular experiences for student-athletes. The reviews analyzed major aspects of the current Department of Athletics & Recreation structure and metrics such as available resources, gender equity, enrollment, and facilities to formulate a long-term strategic plan for athletic competition at UMass Dartmouth.

“We will move quickly over the next week to meet with student-athletes and staff to ensure our intent is clear. Our commitment to enhance the quality and increase the number participating in our tennis and swimming/diving programs is a priority,” said Athletic Director Amanda Van Voorhis.

While the school did not allude to any specific Title IX litigation, and SwimSwam has not received any information about such litigation, the school’s press release says that the decision to reinstate 2 programs was made to “better align athletic participation opportunities for women with the female undergraduate population.”

Proportionality between the gender makeup of the student body and the number of athletics opportunities is one of the tests for an athletics department’s compliance with Title IX recommendations.

Several other women’s swimming programs have been reinstated after being cut amid a wave of pandemic-driven eliminations on the basis of Title IX arguments. That includes Dartmouth (no relation), where both the men’s and women’s programs were reinstated; East Carolina, where the women’s swimming & diving and tennis programs were reinstated; William & Mary, where the women’s swimming and eventually men’s swimming program were both reinstated; and the University of Iowa, where only the women’s program was reinstated.

According to government data, during the 2018-2019 season, the school had 11 female athletes on its swimming & diving team and 12 on its tennis team. During that season, the school had 284 athletes in its men’s varsity programs and 184 in its women’s varsity programs, meaning that female student-athletes made up less than 40% of the varsity athletes. That same data shows that female student-athletes make up 47.6% of the student body.

The cuts as they currently stand will result in females making up about 41.9% of the varsity athletes at the school. That’s still less than the makeup of the student body by the equivalent of about 18 roster spots.

The reinstatement of the women’s swimming & diving and tennis programs brings the school up to 19 intercollegiate athletic programs. The school does not have a football team.

Neither swimming & diving program participated in the 2020-2021 season. At the 2020 New England Swimming and Diving Championships, the UMass Dartmouth women finished 6th out of 21 teams, while the UMass Dartmouth men finished 5th out of 14 teams.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago


olde coach
2 years ago

Why not both? One coach, very little overhead and some pretty recent pool renovations?

Gowdy Raines
2 years ago

Hell yeah. About damn time.

2 years ago

Loving this trend…

2 years ago

The cut and reinstate that all these schools are doing shows how BS any “proof” a school has on why they should cut is…

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »