WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Citing the desire to achieve financial stability while maintaining competitiveness, the College of William & Mary will discontinue seven of its 23 varsity sports.
At the conclusion of the 20-21 academic year, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's swimming, men's indoor and outdoor track & field, and women's volleyball will no longer be sponsored as Division I sports at the Williamsburg institution.
In an open letter, Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge said, "This is a wrenching decision. It will impact 118 student-athletes and 13 coaches. Altered, too, will be the lives of thousands of family members, former varsity letter award winners, alumni, fans, donors, and supporters of these seven sports programs."
Over the past two decades, W&M says there have been several athletics program reviews conducted by groups both within – and external – to athletics. Each of these reviews, according to W&M, reached the same conclusion: William & Mary's model of sponsoring 23 varsity sports is unsustainable without a significant increase in funding through private philanthropy and revenue generation. William & Mary adds it has searched for alternatives to discontinuing varsity sports, without success.
The full savings from the elimination of these seven sports will eventually be $3.66 million annually, which is 12% of William & Mary Athletics' annual budget.
This story was first reported by Adam Winkler at WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia.