Dartmouth sports cuts "not simply a budget issue."

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 9:23 PM EDT
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Friday, July 10th

HANOVER, N.H. - Along with the decision by the Ivy League to cancel the fall season, Dartmouth made headlines yesterday, eliminating five varsity programs, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's golf and men's lightweight crew, dropping the total number of programs Dartmouth hosts from 35 to 30.

The move will save the College money, as it deals with a budget deficit fueled by the pandemic, but Dartmouth director of athletics Harry Sheehy says the decision was likely to happen regardless.

Dartmouth has both the smallest total student enrollment, and the highest percentage of student athletes as part of the overall student body, of all eight Ivy League schools.

Dartmouth president Phiip Hanlon asked Sheehy to cut the number of incoming recruited athletes by 10 percent in order to give the school more flexibility in admissions. In the statement announcing this decision Thursday, Hanlon said by decreasing the number of student athletes admitted to the College, it would "broaden opportunities for the increasing number of applicants who excel in a wide range of areas."

Sheehy says the decision to fully eliminate the five sports, as opposed to making smaller cuts across all the varsity programs Dartmouth offers, was the right decisions to make, but certainly not an easy one.

"These are really tough decisions.", said Sheehy. You're impacting coaches, families, their lives...student-athletes who have chosen to come to Dartmouth to pursue their passion for their endeavor athletically.

And I know it rings hallow to the student-athletes and coaches, but I was handed a certain reality by the institution and we had to react to it and I had some choices to make. I think what's very different is this is simply not simply a budget issue. It's other resources, and that makes this much more layered and much more complex."