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William & Mary Athletic Director Resigns After Decision to Cut 7 Varsity Sports Sparks Controversy

Samantha Huge, William & Mary’s athletic director, resigned Tuesday after facing “widespread” community dissatisfaction with her decision to cut seven sports last month, reports The Virginian-Pilot.

Samantha HugeSamantha Huge

Citing COVID-19 and the financial toll it has taken on institutions across the country, Huge had reported growing budget deficits within the athletics department last month. Consequently, she announced the school would eliminate seven of the 23 varsity sports at W&M following the 2020-21 school year. Those included men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball.

Following the announcement, athletes and others complained that the school was favoring revenue-producing sports. In response, women’s gymnastics, volleyball, and swimming teams said they would pursue a class-action lawsuit against the college if the sports were eliminated.

“Athletics Director Samantha Huge was asked to lead difficult change at William & Mary – change required to address long-standing imbalances and put the Athletics Department on sound financial and operational footing for years to come,” said Dr. Katherine Rowe, W&M’s president, in a news release. “She took on that challenge recognizing that it was in the best interest of the university and she continues to make decisions using that standard as her guide.”

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