The College of William & Mary has put a soft deadline on the upheaval that has hit the athletic department since a September 3 announcement that seven varsity programs would be cut after the 2020-21 academic year due to financial issues.
That announcement, which plagiarized a Stanford release announcing the elimination of 11 sports, has led to displeasure with the process, the resignation of athletic director Samantha Huge and faculty members pushing for reinstatement. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the university and interim athletic director Jeremy Martin are working to wrap up the reevaluation process on men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball around Nov. 11, which is signing day for Division I sports.
Related content: William & Mary Dropping Seven Sports After 2020-21
That isn’t a hard date for each program, has every program has unique circumstances. Martin says he is meeting with each coach to “help me understand what the right time is to your sport to make sure that we’ve done everything possible,” according to the Times-Dispatch.
“We’re going to engage folks,” Martin said, noting he wants to work with alumni groups and everyone to determine the best path forward. “We’re going to be forthright and honest about the magnitude of the challenge. We’re going to see if there’s anything viable, and then we’re going to run as hard as we can to chase down any of those possibilities.”
Martin took over for Samantha Huge, who resigned Oct. 6, just before a meeting in which the school’s Arts & Sciences Faculty were going to vote on a motion of “no-confidence” in Huge.
Related content: William & Mary AD Huge Resigns in Wake of Sports Cuts
According to The Virginian-Pilot, faculty members introduced three motions at Tuesday’s Faculty Assembly meeting. Professors Suzanne Hagedorn, Katherine Guthrie and Tom McSweeney drafted motions calling for a new Athletics Task Force; to immediately reinstate the seven sports “pending further review and consideration by the new Athletics Task Force; and for an external audit of the athletic department by an accredited accounting firm, as well as an independent review of NCAA and Title IX compliance.
“If we can find viable paths forward, I want to attempt to find those,” Martin said, according to The Virginian-Pilot. “I don’t believe the necessities of the moment will lead to a satisfactory outcome for all.
“For those for which we can find viable pathways, we do want to pursue those with everything we can.”
The college has projected a $2.87 million deficit this year and at least $3.2 million deficits for each of the next three years.
Related content: William & Mary to Discuss Cuts with Affected Teams