WHERE WE ARE TODAY
On September 3rd, the seven affected programs were guided to a Zoom call that ultimately lasted six minutes. All programs were to be discontinued after the '20-'21 season. There was no space for an explanation or discussion, no Q&A, and the decision was declared final. The Tribe Track family is deeply upset, confused, and angry about this decision. To put it plainly, we want our program reinstated, and we believe that together we can make that happen.
While acknowledging the very real financial strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for William & Mary, this decision stands in direct opposition to much of the missions, goals, and core values described in the Athletic Department’s Strategic Plan and makes a mockery of the philosophy, “One Tribe One Family.”
Facts to address
The 2025 strategic plan states that a successful athletics program will "persevere through adversity with confidence."
This is a perfect example of the athletic department refusing to practice what they preach. Instead of finding creative and resourceful solutions that could have prevented a situation like this, they took the easy way out.
The athletic department blindsided these student-athletes
This decision seemed to come out of nowhere without any warning to the team. Meetings with administration as early as the start of the academic year gave the impression that Men's track was not in a position to be cut. Even worse, the decision came after students were already on campus and tuition had been paid.
Tribe Track's shared facilities, joint coaches with the Women's team and fundraising efforts cover a large portion of the operating costs for the team
The shared facilities with the football team, joint travel with the women's team and help of our generous donors covers a large portion of our operating costs. Further, the alumni and friends of the program were not alerted or given the opportunity to raise sufficient funds to get our men's team back on track. Cutting a sport should be a last resort and only occur after all options have been exhausted, which which was far from the case for Tribe men's track.
Detrimental impact to Women's team and community at large
William & Mary Track fosters a unique environment of inclusion where women and men work together and support each other as equals. This decision will irrefutably jeopardize the future of the women's team which our athletic department has continually vowed to advance and support women's athletics. Track is also not a pay to play sport and encourages a diverse demographic of participants. William & Mary turning its back on track does not align with its public prioritization of inclusivity.
Our asks of the College:
We, the alums and current athletes of William & Mary Track and Field, call on President Katherine Rowe and Athletic Director Samantha Huge to:
Reinstate William & Mary Men’s Track & Field;
Commit to fair and transparent processes for future major decisions;
Make a renewed and lasting commitment to the equality and justice for all people they claim to support.
For our supporters and allies who would like to assist us in the fight for improved institutional support and true diversity in higher education and collegiate sports, please join us.