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.
Sources: William & Mary AD Samantha Huge is resigning in wake of protests over cutting of seven Tribe sports. Announcement soon.
— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) October 6, 2020
Can confirm David’s report. William & Mary’s AD is stepping down. Also notable because Samantha Huge is currently her conference’s rep (the Colonial) on the Division I Council, which will meet and vote next week on a variety of issues. https://t.co/i9dzO99PJQ
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) October 6, 2020
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 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.”