BY LUKE REYNOLDS
PHOTO BY SPORTGRAPHICS
Nearly six months after eliminating its men’s lightweight rowing program, Dartmouth College has announced that it will be reinstating the sport.
The action appears to be a result of the College not being within Title IX compliance after eliminating five of its athletic programs last July, including men’s lightweight rowing, women’s and men’s swimming and diving, and women’s and men’s golf.
“To determine which teams would be eliminated, Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy and his team established a series of factors and considerations to be used in their assessment,” Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon wrote in a letter to the Dartmouth community sent Friday morning.
“We have recently learned that elements of the data that Athletics used to confirm continued Title IX compliance may not have been complete. In light of this discovery, Dartmouth will immediately reinstate all five teams.”
In addition to bringing the sports back into the fold, Dartmouth has also commissioned reviews to “ensure that we are complying with the law and living up to our institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
The news brought both relief and frustration from the students who were affected by the announcement that rowing had been cut.
“It’s a shame that it took so much time, effort, and chaos to bring the team back but I can tell you many of us are in good spirits and excited about what the future holds,” said Dartmouth lightweight Anthony Wang.
“Obviously it’s a pleasant surprise but I’m still struggling to come to terms with the decision making process.”
The reviews include a Title IX compliance audit conducted by the law firm, Holland and Knight, an Ivy League compliance review of Dartmouth varsity athletics, and a “process-and-control” review of the Dartmouth athletic department completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Hanlon wrote that the reviews “will strengthen our practices and governance structures and ensure that Dartmouth Athletics is fully compliant with all Title IX, NCAA, and Ivy League policies. “
Once completed, the conclusions and recommendations will be forwarded to the Board Of Trustees Committee on Oversight and to Hanlon. “At the conclusion of the reviews, we will publish an action plan and take any steps necessary to ensure compliance with Title IX and to address institutional goals, priorities, and challenges.
“This has been a difficult year on numerous fronts. We know that many in our community have been disappointed by the decisions we have made within Athletics and across the institution. The news that the data used to confirm Title IX compliance in connection with the team eliminations may not have been complete only adds to that disappointment,” Hanlon wrote.
“We sincerely apologize that this process has been, and continues to be, so painful to our current and former student-athletes and all who support them.
“Through the actions above, we will make sure that any future decisions will be based on accurate data. Our sincere hope is that these reviews and team reinstatements will create an opportunity for us to come together as a community as we navigate the challenging times ahead,” Hanlon said.
“I realize many of you were disappointed by the July announcement. It is my hope that as we move forward with this process, we will all work together to make our Athletics program even stronger.