Reinstated William & Mary sports programs to continue indefinitely after pushback, fundraising

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(Photo courtesy: William & Mary)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Just months after William & Mary announced it would cut several varsity sports teams due to financial issues exacerbated by the pandemic, the college has announced all of the teams will continue on at least into the foreseeable future.

William & Mary announced Wednesday that men’s gymnastics, men’s swimming and men’s track & field, three programs that were still up in the air, would continue to compete without a potential end date.

Back in November, the college announced they would compete “at least through 2021-2022.”

William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe said the William & Mary community came through big on short-term fundraising this fall to keep the programs, though sustained levels of giving will be needed.

“We recognize that every sports program annually depends upon generous support from alumni and friends in order to thrive. Moreover, W&M Athletics as a whole depends upon that generosity in order to avoid a moment in which sport sponsorship must be reevaluated to ensure the department’s financial sustainability while advancing equity.”

Alumni and athletes fought back to save the programs back in the fall, forming the group “Save the Tribe 7.”

Men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s indoor and outdoor track, men’s and women’s swimming, and women’s volleyball were all slated to go in William & Mary’s original announcement in September 2020, but the college eventually reinstated the women’s sports after being faced with a Title IX lawsuit.

In November, William & Mary then said it would resintate all seven of the sports, but the future of men’s gymnastics, men’s swimming, and men’s indoor and outdoor track wasn’t certain until Wednesday.

“This fall, the William & Mary community reiterated the desire for a broad athletics program,” said Interim Athletics Director Jeremy Martin. “Thus far in FY2020, we’ve seen the financial commitment reflect that desire. However, the magnitude of the financial challenge is not diminished by success in a single year – it must be repeated and increased each and every year.”

For more information on the financial review, visit William & Mary’s athletics website.

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