William & Mary To Reinstate Women’s Swimming, Gymnastics & Volleyball

The College of William & Mary will reinstate the three women’s athletic programs that were cut in September, the school announced Monday.

Women’s swimming & diving, gymnastics and volleyball have been revitalized, while the four men’s programs that were cut remain that way for the time being.

In a press release, William & Mary acknowledged that part of the decision to bring back the programs was due to a possible Title IX violation.

The school announced the cuts of the three women’s programs, along with men’s swimming & diving, men’s gymnastics and men’s indoor and outdoor track & field, on September 3.

“The plan prepared by the Department of Athletics implemented discontinuations to address structural budget deficits exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to begin remedying long-standing gender equity imbalances inconsistent with the requirements of Title IX,” the school wrote in its press release.

“Subsequently, the university received notice of intent to sue on the grounds that the announced plan, including the cuts and the associated roster adjustments in other sports, would not fully meet Title IX standards.

“After a detailed review, Interim Director of Athletics Jeremy Martin concluded that attainment of the anticipated roster adjustments was uncertain and the plan would not achieve equity in participation by next fall. To bring about decisive progress more swiftly, the three women’s sports would need to be restored.”

The school says that reinstating the women’s programs “will make significant progress toward achieving equity in participation in 2021-22”.

As for the men’s programs, it appears as though the cuts that were made will remain that way.

“As a result of today’s announcement and decision, Martin said there is no clear and easy pathway to reinstate the four suspended men’s programs immediately, while making significant progress toward gender proportionality within the department,” the school said.

“We recognize the very substantial challenge but are committed to engaging those who bring substantive solutions,” Martin, who took over Samantha Huge after her resignation, said. “Consistent with our phased approach to decision making under COVID-19, we will move swiftly to lay out the challenge and arrive at a decision for the 2021-2022 academic year.”

The past month and a half has been a trying time for Tribe Athletics, as it was learned that Huge plagiarized part of the school’s announcement of the cuts from a Stanford release earlier in the year. There was also a campaign launched in an attempt to saving the swimming & diving programs.

“We know that this process has caused pain,” Martin said. “We will need to continue rebuilding trust by our actions going forward. We have moved quickly over the last week to meet with students, coaches and alumni groups supporting alternative solutions for all the affected teams. We remain committed to that effort. William & Mary has a long history of emerging even stronger from adversity. With the help of our whole community, we will do just that.”

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Bailey
9 months ago

Wow

PFA
9 months ago

Ok so where’s the other half?

meeeee
Reply to  PFA
9 months ago

won’t ever come. Unintended consequences of Title IX strike again.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  meeeee
9 months ago

Oh, it was intended. Every Title IX lawyer knows it. And it just happened at U. Minnesota. The lawyer and women who threatened to file knew the doom of the men’s teams was a likely outcome.

meeeee
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
9 months ago

i do tend to agree with you. i challenged Nancy Hogshed on this point and she essentially told me to pound sand. I don’t think she cares anything for male athletes. Singularly focused on women. Its sad.

swimgeek
9 months ago

I’m super happy for the women’s team — but this has a sad feel of permanence for the men. A very successful men’s team is willing to self-fund completely, but because there are “too many” male athletes in OTHER sports, the men’s swim team can’t be allowed to exist. Doesn’t sound like there’s gender equity at all in the sport of swimming.

swimgeek
Reply to  swimgeek
9 months ago

On an older W&M thread, I noted that the strategy of applying Title IX pressure might be useful — but only for saving the women’s team (and would have the opposite impact on the men). Alas, my fears came true.

Barbotus
Reply to  swimgeek
9 months ago

There was risk, but it was a lever. A lever that got women’s swimming reinstated. So we work on the next lever to get men’s swimming reinstated.

swimgeek
Reply to  Barbotus
9 months ago

Don’t get me wrong — half a loaf is better than none. I’m genuinely excited that the women’s team was saved! But the problem now is that it’s not a money issue (which we can solve) – it’s a numbers issue. Since the Athletic Dept is saying money is gone, we would essentially have to raise enough money to not only fund the men’s swim team — but to also fund a brand new women’s sport so that the male/female athlete numbers come out even.

David
Reply to  swimgeek
9 months ago

They should limit Football which is insignificant at a school like W&M. I’m guessing they have 25-30 on the roster that will never step foot on the field during a game. What a huge waste of time and resources? That would solve the numbers issue.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimgeek
9 months ago

Give the money back to the donors. Neither program was “saved” in the way the donations were intended. It was never a money mismanagement issue — there was no money and won’t be. They had to cut sports, period. It came down to Title IX, not some pie in the sky fantasy that faculty and students could figure out a way to manage being broke better than the AD.

Swim Fan
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
9 months ago

Have you not done your research? No-one has donated yet. If you go to http://www.savetribeswimming.com like the 5 times people have told you, you would know that.

But no, you just keep on posting un-educated crap. Just stop.

Roll Tribe
9 months ago

Ol Longhorn was wrong! Today is a good day!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Roll Tribe
9 months ago

That’s not what the former men’s team is saying.

SwimMom
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
9 months ago

I doubt that you know anyone on the men’s team. This is a victory for all and encouraging for men’s and women’s swim programs across the country. This is a swimming website-are you really coming here to try to tear us down?!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SwimMom
9 months ago

How the ‘f is this encouraging for men’s swim programs across the country? They now know they’re first in line on the Title IX chopping block because of this precedent, and Title IX is going to be the go-to move for every women’s team of any sport cut during the pandemic. It can cut both ways, too, as U. Minnesota showed, and it could be women’s team numbers cut.

Roll Tribe
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
9 months ago

Funny you should mention the former men’s team, I’m in fact a member of that team! We’re stoked that the women’s team was reinstated and glad that everyone that said the teams wouldn’t be reinstated was proven half wrong so far. This battle isn’t over and we’re still fighting to get our team reinstated. Keep hating, and we’ll keep working. Have a great evening! 🙂

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Roll Tribe
9 months ago

IU has an awesome transfer experience.

dmswim
9 months ago

This just goes to show how poorly thought out these cuts were in the first place. Bring them all back and reassess the athletic department budget as a whole.

Tribe Parent
Reply to  dmswim
9 months ago

Exactly!!!

FREEBEE
9 months ago

way to go!

coc0
9 months ago

wow – where is Dartmouth at?

exswimcoach
Reply to  coc0
9 months ago

Hanover, NH

Mrs. Swimming
9 months ago

Hollow victory :/

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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