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Dartmouth College has cut five varsity sports and reduced staff positions.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Joining what has become a growing trend across the nation in recent weeks, Dartmouth announced Thursday that it has cut five varsity sports and reduced the number of staff positions. 

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing will be eliminated.

The decision, effective immediately, will affect 110 athletes and reduce the total number of varsity teams to 30. 

"I can assure you that these decisions were made with great care and with the long-term interests of the learning experience provided by Dartmouth Athletics front and center," Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon wrote in an email to the Dartmouth community. 

The Big Green join a growing list of Penn’s peers that have cut varsity sports in recent times. Fellow Ivy League school Brown originally cut 11 in June, but three were reinstated after widespread pushback. Stanford announced its intention to cut 11 varsity sports this Wednesday, citing the pandemic as a breaking point. 

With Penn expected to lose a significant stream of income for its athletics program with the recent cancellation of fall sports, it is not unreasonable to wonder if a similar move could be on the table for the Quakers. At the time of writing, Penn Athletics has not returned a request for comment on if Penn is considering such a decision.

Dartmouth will also permanently close and sell off its Hanover Country Club, as well as undergo “administrative restructuring” within the athletics department.

When deciding which teams to eliminate, Dartmouth reviewed a number of factors, including history and potential for future success, quality of facilities, geography and climate, and level of financial investment required for Dartmouth to excel at sports at which it does not currently succeed. 

"This will maintain the strength of varsity athletics into the future, instead of diluting the talent and competitive experience of all teams," Hanlon wrote. "While the elimination of teams is the most painful option, I agree that this approach is in the best long-term interest of both athletics and Dartmouth."

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