William & Mary Athletic Director Samantha Huge Resigns Amid Protests

In the wake of criticism over the school’s cutting of seven varsity sports, William & Mary athletic director Samantha Huge is resigning, reports say.

Sportswriters David Teel and Matt Norlander both broke the news via Twitter that Huge will step down from her post, which was later confirmed by a press release from the school.

The school confirmed the news this afternoon. President Katherine A. Rowe says Huge was “asked to lead a difficult change at William & Mary – change required to address long-standing imbalances and put the Athletics Department on sound financial and operational footing for years to come.”

“Now it is clear to me that a new approach is necessary,” writes Rowe, saying she and Huge “mutually agreed that it is best to part ways so the university can focus on the critical questions facing W&M Athletics.”

Jeremy Martin will serve as interim athletic director.

Huge has been under heavy criticism since the College of William & Mary announced in September that it would be cutting seven varsity sports programs. Women’s and men’s swimming & diving are among the programs to be cut. Huge wrote in a letter to the school community that the athletic department could “no longer continue on an unsustainable financial trajectory,” citing long-running financial issues worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

But Huge admitted that she plagiarized portions of that letter from a Stanford announcement over the summer. (Stanford cut 11 programs including synchronized swimming, but not swimming & diving). Huge says her aim was to “emulate best practices, not imitate,” but took responsibility for copying portions of the Stanford letter in announcing William & Mary’s cuts.

Huge has been at William & Mary since 2017, when she left an associate athletic director job at Texas A&M to take the athletic director position for William & Mary. She has previous associate athletic director stints at Wake Forest and Georgetown.

Huge was the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) representative to the NCAA’s Division I council, but her term was set to expire in October of 2020, per the NCAA’s roster.

A campaign to save William & Mary’s swimming programs has raised over $1.1 million in donations, with a goal of $4.5 million.

A representative of the Save  Tribe Swimming campaign gave SwimSwam the following statement:

“The President and BoV have clearly heard the concerns of the community and recognized that a path forward was not a viable option under Samatha’s leadership. We are eager to see the data Jeremy will be sharing later this week and hope it will shed light on some of the answers we all have been searching for over the past month. This announcement is a step in the right direction, however our mission will not be completed until we see the both the men’s and women’s swim teams reinstated.”

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Tribe Alum
11 months ago

Great step in the right direction. Now undo all the crap she’s done and re-instate the teams!!

yaboi
11 months ago

Good riddance.

James Beam
11 months ago

Amen. What a disgrace she is to college sports. Good luck getting a new job. How do you think job interviews will go for her? “So tell us about your time at William and Mary?….Um, yup, well, um, ya know, college, sports, cuts, cheated, resigned”

Swamererer
Reply to  James Beam
11 months ago

Don’t forget to add plagiarism to that list

Blastman
Reply to  James Beam
11 months ago

She could work for either of the two major political parties. One of them will have job openings after the election is settled.

swimmerTX
11 months ago

As she should.

Brian M
11 months ago

Great news indeed, but the fact that she was allowed to resign speaks volumes. This should have absolutely been a termination.

Admin
Reply to  Brian M
11 months ago

In many cases ‘resignation’ just means a negotiated departure that allows them to not have to pay out the full value of her contract, nor get into a legal battle over it. Both of those things cost the school more money, which is probably the opposite of the goal right now.

Daniel Smith
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Braden: One of the biggest reasons, I suspect, is fall is when colleges begin annual fundraising campaigns from alumni/ae. Imagine the presdient’s and BOV’s chagrin when “No, I am not giving because you cut sport <insert sport here>” becomes the modal response. The presidnet has a lot of fences to mend, and not only wiht the seven sports cut, but with alumni/ae, sposnors, and large donors.

Admin
Reply to  Daniel Smith
11 months ago

While I’m not sure you’re wrong, that does feel like a bit of a non-sequitur to my response, or otherwise I might be missing the point you’re trying to make.

Wouldn’t firing her, rather than a resignation, do more to mend those fences with certain donors, given the comments levied here?

Daniel Smith
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Point is both president and BOV got into a corner with the situation, which began with students pointing out the double standard she was defending, and W&M has the oldest honors code in the USA. AD’s negotiated departure is her reward for good service to president, and an easier pill for another search committee to swallow. Also possible presdient and BOV do not realize how bad the situation is. They have been schooled and will likely hear a great deal more as meetings begin with teams.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
11 months ago

Hoping the interim AD is a lot better & fixes the “messes” she created👍. Got no dog in the hunt but I’m glad for the athletic department there. Wishing it the best in the future!!

swimgeek
Reply to  Texas A&M Swim Fan
11 months ago

If you’re a fan of swimming, then you very much have a dog in this hunt. We all do.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Texas A&M Swim Fan
11 months ago

The interim AD is the president’s chief of staff. Apparently the only warm body that could throw in as chum for the sharks.

swimfan210_
11 months ago

I wonder if this provides any hope for the swimming program getting reinstated.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimfan210_
11 months ago

Nope.

SwimFani
11 months ago

Wishing W+M swimming the best….also hope this AD will learn from her many mistakes. Wishing good for everyone is the best course to take…just one opinion.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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