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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Captain Ahab
1 year ago

That’s terrible news. After they had an athlete drop 18.9 50 yard freestyle.

Dartmouth swimmer
1 year ago

Heartbreaking for our sport. How many more programs are going to be lost?!

Reply to  Dartmouth swimmer
1 year ago

There are far more to come in the next couple years. Men’s swimming will be gone completely, and women may hang on.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
Reply to  BraveNewWorld
1 year ago

Agree that more programs will “shut down” but don’t agree that men’s swimming will be nonexistent. If worse comes to worse (hoping & praying not), collegiate swimming in totality at the NCAA level will become extinct☹️☹️

Reply to  BraveNewWorld
1 year ago

You may be reading too many comment sections. If anything, programs will be better at funding themselves, better.

Tribe Swimmer
1 year ago

I’m upset.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tribe Swimmer
Tribe Swimmer
Reply to  Tribe Swimmer
1 year ago

Coming back to this 30 minutes later. I’m simply disappointed in an athletic department that refuses to sustain a program that is one of the least expensive programs at the school, has unparalleled success, and has one of the highest team GPAs at the school. I’m devastated.

Reply to  Tribe Swimmer
1 year ago

This exactly

Reply to  Tribe Swimmer
1 year ago

Fifty thousand on my head is disrespect

1 year ago

Yet another top mid major school cutting swimming. Cannot imagine that it will be getting any better as the pandemic continues…

Reply to  FLYNN
1 year ago

Thanks, China.

John Snow
Reply to  Armchair
1 year ago

How is this China’s fault when Australians just wrapped up a Welcome Back Meet and other countries are playing sports again? It’s America’s failure to test, trace, and isolate the virus that has has exacerbated financial strains for not only college athletics, but our economy as a whole.

1 year ago

Devastating. My heart goes out to the W&M swimming community. This will be a big loss.

JP input is too short
1 year ago


Save our sport
1 year ago

Shameful. The sport of swimming should no longer take a back seat to spectator sports. USA swimming needs to step in in any way they can, this is getting ridiculous. If I were a middle schooler choosing a sport to pursue in college, at this rate I wouldn’t choose swimming.

Hawk Pride
1 year ago

It is sad to see another program dropped both for the CAA and the entire swimming community. It is uncertain where this will end but those that remain will deeply miss the programs no longer in the pool. The Tribe fought hard to get to where they are today and it is a shame to not be able to watch them progress further. Heart goes out to the team.

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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