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Statement regarding communications about the future of Division I athletics at William & Mary

The following is a statement from W&M Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge regarding communications about the future of Division I athletics at William & Mary. - Ed.

As the leader of William & Mary Athletics, I affirm that the department’s and university’s integrity is paramount. I acknowledge the concerns raised by some members of the W&M community regarding the athletics communications on September 3, specifically the similarities to those of other institutions.

As we prepared to announce the very difficult decision to eliminate seven varsity programs, we consulted with professional colleagues and peers at several institutions, including Stanford University. We were seeking to engage a thoughtful process, then communicate those actions as respectfully as possible. Our goal was to emulate best practices, not imitate. We clearly fell short of the William & Mary community’s standards. Upon reflection, we should have taken more care with the review of the materials we shared with our community. At the end of the day, regardless of the drafting process, I take responsibility and we will do better. Above all, the goal was to convey respect to those most directly affected. I regret very much that we did not meet that goal.

In the coming weeks we will share, with more transparency, our process and the data that led us to our decision regarding Division I athletics.