William & Mary to cut seven varsity sports

William & Mary to cut seven varsity sports

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - William & Mary will cut seven varsity athletic programs following the 2020-2021 academic year, the school announced on Thursday.

The release sent by administrators said that it’s become unsustainable to operate a department that sponsors 23 varsity teams, and that the pandemic has brought the school to a “point of reckoning.”

Men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball are the programs that will be discontinued after the school year.

The release indicates that 118 student-athletes and 13 coaches will be impacted by the cuts.

Students on scholarship will have those funds honored in order to complete graduation on schedule.

William & Mary’s 23 varsity sports are the most in the CAA.

“Due to the escalating costs of operating 23 programs, a structural deficit of over $1 million emerged several years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic and associated financial climate exacerbated this situation,” the school said in its open letter.

The Tribe said that it will eventually save $3.66 million per year due to this decision, accounting for 12 percent of the athletic department’s annual budget. The school also noted that it would not be able to provide competitive athletic programs elsewhere without making the decision it announced today.

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