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Dartmouth College Athletes Protest Sports Cuts

Jason Scott

In July, Dartmouth College announced its plans to cut five athletics programs: men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s lightweight rowing, and men’s and women’s golf. That decision, however, didn’t sit well with other student-athletes at the college, and a group of them representing 20 other of the college’s teams signed onto a letter to the college president Phil Hanlon and athletic director Harry Sheehy expressing solidarity with the cut programs.

“We are disappointed that student athletes were not consulted to help solve the fiscal and admissions challenges the school is trying to overcome before you unilaterally committed to eliminating these 5 teams,” the letter reads. 

The letter takes issue with how the college arrived at the decision to make cuts, arguing that the decision-making process should’ve been made with more transparency and in consultation with students and alumni. 

“We believe providing transparency into decision-making processes would have invited students and alumni to help identify better solutions than what was arrived at in secret. Transparency in such a dramatic decision is paramount, and without it, our leaders forgo accountability, which is exactly what we are seeing.”

Finally, the letter calls for the cut programs to be reinstated. “Eliminating these five programs was an ill-considered determination in the face of a solvable challenge, and as such, we demand that the athletic department reevaluate their decision and reinstate the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams, the Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams, and the Lightweight Rowing Team.”

The letter’s signatories include representatives from at 20 Dartmouth sports programs, including the football team. The group has identified itself as #OneDartmouthTeam.

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