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Dartmouth Cuts Five Athletic Programs Due To Financial Pressure

Mark Washburn

The Dartmouth College athletic department announced Wednesday it will eliminate five varsity sports.

The decision comes less than 24 hours after the Ivy League decided to cancel its fall sports season. 

The five programs eliminated include men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's golf, and men's lightweight rowing. The decision affects roughly 110 student athletes. 

All team activities will be suspended immediately and 15 staff jobs, including eight coaching positions, will also be cut. 

The college also announced it is permanently closing Hanover Country Club. The club had financial problems and has been closed since last fall.

Dartmouth says it has no plans to sell the club, but will explore ways to keep it open for recreational use. 

The cuts are expected to save more than $2 million as the school addresses a projected $150 million deficit caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon called for these actions, the choice to cut the specific sports was ultimately made by Athletic Director Harry Sheehy. 

"Harry (Sheehy) and I realize that on top of what has already been a uniquely challenging year, this is deeply disappointing news," Hanlon wrote in an email to faculty, students, staff, and all undergraduate families. "I remain fully committed to Dartmouth Athletics and am confident that the steps outlined here will make it a leaner but stronger program."

Student athletes on the teams that have been eliminated will remain eligible for the athletic department’s nutrition services and academic and career counseling. 

Dartmouth’s admissions office will also honor the admission of incoming recruits on those teams.

Despite the cutbacks, Dartmouth still remains in line with Title IX regulations.

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