Dartmouth Women’s Swimming Kicks Back

Dartmouth eliminated its swimming and diving program last spring — for the second time this century.

The Dartmouth College women’s swimming and diving team will not go silently into the night. As our readers may remember, Dartmouth eliminated several varsity teams in the spring — including the men’s and women’s swimming and divings teams, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing. But the Dartmouth swimming program, in particular, has kicked back. First, some athletes accused the school of anti-Asian bias since, they argued, the teams featured more Asian American athletes than many other teams. Now, the women’s swimming and diving team has retained counsel and warned the school that of potential litigation. Apparently, the elimination of some of the teams put the College on the Hill out of Title IX compliance.

Dartmouth Accused of Being Out of Title IX Compliance with Elimination of Teams

As Damien Fisher writes in a piece for In Depth NH entitled “Dartmouth College Warned of Potential Lawsuit Over Cutting Women’s Swim Team,” “According to [Oakland attorney Arthur] Bryant, the eliminations pushed the school well outside of Title IX rules. Title IX requires that schools provide equal access to all programs, including sports. Without the five teams, there are fewer opportunities for women Dartmouth students to engage in sports based on the student body population, according to Bryant. Dartmouth already had a gap in terms of men’s and women’s sports positions before the eliminations, according to Bryant’s letter. There were 521 men’s spots and 424 women’s spots before the teams were cut, and 456 men’s spots and 392 women’s spots after the eliminations. Even if Dartmouth reinstates women’s golf, swimming and diving, that school still will be out of Title IX compliance by 47 spots, according to Bryant.”

We Doubt Dartmouth Is Out of Title IX Compliance

It’s the latest salvo in an attempt by Dartmouth’s swimmers, parents, and alumni to get the team reinstated. And, hey, it’s not like some of these folks haven’t been successful before. When Dartmouth eliminated the swimming and diving program back in 2002, students, parents, and alumni kicked back — rallying the student body and even securing publicity on ESPN that ultimately led the administration to reinstate the teams. It just seems that this time around, they’re trying to hit on all cylinders and their approach is a little all over the place. But, hey, we’ll see if anything comes of it. Our two cents? We highly doubt Dartmouth would have knowingly put themselves out of Title IX compliance. There are officials in Dartmouth’s athletic department whose sole job is to ensure the school remains in Title IX compliance. So color us a bit skeptical.

 
 

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