Due to changing demographics within the UMass Dartmouth student population and given the current collegiate sports environment, the University has revisited its July 2020 decision to discontinue eight of the University’s 25 intercollegiate athletic programs – women’s equestrian, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, co-ed sailing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s tennis.
In the first of several anticipated changes as part of an overall strategy to better align athletic participation opportunities for women with the female undergraduate population, UMass Dartmouth is reinstating Women’s Tennis and Women’s Swimming and Diving as varsity intercollegiate programs, effective immediately.
The University’s July 2020 decision was based on outside reviews of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program to provide the best possible competitive and co-curricular experiences for student-athletes. The reviews analyzed major aspects of the current Department of Athletics & Recreation structure and metrics such as available resources, gender equity, enrollment, and facilities to formulate a long-term strategic plan for athletic competition at UMass Dartmouth.
“We will move quickly over the next week to meet with student-athletes and staff to ensure our intent is clear. Our commitment to enhance the quality and increase the number participating in our tennis and swimming/diving programs is a priority,” said Athletic Director Amanda Van Voorhis.
With this decision, the University will work to address the needs of student-athletes that will compete in the reinstated programs, including medical clearance, training, and scheduling contests for fall 2021. The Department of Athletics & Recreation and Human Resources are currently working to address coaching needs to ensure student-athletes in these programs have the necessary level of support. Student-athletes from the tennis and swimming and diving programs have been contacted by Van Voorhis via email. A virtual meeting will be scheduled to allow student-athletes to ask questions, as well as discuss the details surrounding the transition back to varsity programs.
“Providing opportunities for student-athletes is always a priority,” said David Gingerella, Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance at UMass Dartmouth. “The University is committed to making this transition as smooth as possible and commit the necessary resources to allow our students to succeed both on and off the playing field.”