William & Mary To Cut 7 Sports, Including Swimming, After 2020-2021

The College of William & Mary will cut seven programs at the end of this school year, including both women’s and men’s swimming & diving.

The school cites an “unsustainable financial trajectory,” noting that it had previously undertaken cost-cutting measures, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the school’s need to reduce its budget.

“As a department, we simply can no longer continue on an unsustainable financial trajectory,” wrote athletics director Samantha K. Huge in a letter to the school community. “We will do everything that we can for the impacted student-athletes and coaches, and I sincerely hope they are able to participate in one final season of competition. Today is a sad day for all of us who love William & Mary.”

William & Mary will cut seven sports following the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Women’s swimming & diving
  • Men’s swimming & diving
  • Women’s gymnastics
  • Men’s gymnastics
  • Men’s outdoor track & field
  • Men’s indoor track & field
  • Volleyball

That leaves W&M with 16 varsity sports. The school says it will save $3.66 million each year once it finishes paying out scholarships and coaching contracts in the cut sports. William & Mary’s athletics website includes some financial data on the decision: the school says it would take about $5.84 million each year to sustain those seven programs at a nationally-competitive level. And the school says it would need about $150 million in endowments to be able to continue those programs.

The school says it will honor athletic scholarships for athletes in the cut programs who choose to stay at the school.

William & Mary competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, or CAA. The William & Mary men have won six consecutive conference titles, and the women finished second among seven teams last season. Senior sprinter Colin Wright had W&M in line to score big points at NCAAs this year, at least on the men’s side. He went 18.98 in the 50 free to become just the fourth mid-major swimmer ever to break 19 seconds. He was seeded 4th into NCAAs before that meet was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, and was also seeded 8th in the 100 free.

William & Mary joins a long list of schools to eliminate swimming & diving programs this offseason. Here are the cuts already in Division I:

  • Iowa (women & men)
  • Boise State (women)
  • UConn (men)
  • Dartmouth (women & men)
  • East Carolina (women & men)
  • Western Illionis (women & men) – indefinitely suspended
  • William & Mary (women & men)

You can see a full list of the aquatic program cuts so far this offseason here.

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3 years ago

Which school/team will be next??

3 years ago

comment image?1599189504

3 years ago

If they can’t afford scholarships they should drop to D3 and see who stays.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ken
3 years ago

1.023 BILLION dollar endowment. Couldn’t afford swimming?

Filipe Quintaroo
3 years ago

Feel terrible for the athletes and coaches. Having had personal interactions with the coaches, my opinion is they are first rate ambassadors to the school and its academic rigors. I also believe the gymnastics team had an a very high percentage of academic All Americans with a very high team GPA. Gymnastics, Swimming and similar sports tend to attract and develop disciplined hard-working students who excel in their sports, academics and life. What better ambassadors for the school to send out to the world. I also know the swim program was an allure for athletes all over the country which helped the school diversity its geographic representation.

Sad to see these programs go…

3 years ago

Our team admin’s daughter is a freshman (swimming) and she was texting in real time. We felt so bad for her and our team admin. So devastating to watch. Ugh. These kids and families work their whole lives for this experience, literally!

3 years ago

Very sad situation for the swimmers. My heart goes out to them. But all of these Swim and Dive programs being cut don’t all have ADs and higher who are bad people who want to hurt student swimmers. Although we may love our sport, it simply doesn’t have the economic draw of other sports. Has also some unique issues with pool time and the ability to draw a more diverse team etc may also be a factor. Less people care what happens to the program. Most swim and dive teams have a club feel and my many national caliber athletes. My advice -have your kids swim if they truly love it and pick a school for the school. Imagine being… Read more »

Shannon Connolly
3 years ago

This is a disgrace. Shame on William and Mary for not having the grit or fortitude to protect their athletic programs and drop this bomb on kids who are excelling on behalf of the school. In times of crisis, it takes great leaders to sustain. Clearly they need a shake-up in leadership to protect the athletes, especially their high achievers.

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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