Golf

Dartmouth reinstates golf programs, Hanover Country Club stays closed

golfweek.usatoday.com

Less than seven months after it announced that a series of sports teams — including the men’s and women’s golf teams — would be eliminated, the school announced on Friday that all five sports will be reinstated and the Ivy League school will begin “a comprehensive, external review of the athletic department’s policies, practices, and governance model.”

The decision came after talk of a possible class action sex discrimination lawsuit against the university surfaced. In July, the college cited the pandemic and resulting financial challenges in making its decision. The school, located in Hanover, N.H., also announced the closing of the university-run Hanover Country Club at the time, although Friday’s news is not expected to overturn that decision.

Those decisions were expected to save the university about $2 million. The college-owned golf course had reportedly operated in the red for many years.

But with a potential Title IX infraction looming and a potential lawsuit stirring, the college decided to bring the golf programs back, along with women’s swimming and diving and men’s lightweight rowing.

“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 President Phil Hanlon wrote in a letter released on Friday. “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.”

“We are delighted that Dartmouth has agreed to reinstate the women’s golf and swimming and diving teams, conduct a gender equity review, and ensure that all aspects of its intercollegiate athletic program comply with Title IX,” said Arthur H. Bryant of Bailey & Glasser, LLP, the lead attorney for a group of female student-athletes preparing to file a lawsuit. “Our clients, who stood up for their rights, are incredibly proud. They sincerely hope that Dartmouth will use this opportunity to become a model for gender equity in athletics nationwide.”

According to the Dartmouth website:

The agreement states that Dartmouth will begin the search for coaches for the women’s teams by Feb. 1 and that the teams, once formed and trained, will begin to compete as soon as practicable, in accordance with Dartmouth’s COVID-19 guidelines and Ivy League decisions on competition. The teams must remain in place at least through the 2024-2025 academic year, the agreement says.

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