Dartmouth College is reinstating five sports it eliminated and will conduct an external review of sports department policies, practices and governance after being accused of not providing equal opportunities for intercollegiate participation for women compared to men .
The Hanover, NH school announced in July that it would cut women’s and men’s swimming and diving, women’s and men’s golf, and men’s light rowing. The move was intended to help close a projected $ 150 million financial gap due to the coronavirus pandemic and to provide more flexibility in admissions.
These sports will be reinstated after the school learns that the data elements used to confirm Title IX compliance may not have been complete. Title IX is a federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex in the programs and activities of federally funded universities.
“We sincerely apologize that this process has been and continues to be so painful for our current and former student-athletes and all who support them,” Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon said in a statement. “Through the above actions, we will ensure that any future decisions will be based on accurate data.”
The school issued a joint statement with members of the women’s golf and swimming and diving teams as part of a resolution of threats of legal action. The decision to cut the teams sparked an uproar among athletes. More than a dozen athletes signed a letter in August complaining that the cuts were aimed at sports popular with Asian athletes.
A gender equity review is due to be completed by March 15, 2022. Based on this review, the school will develop a plan to ensure that all aspects of its intercollegiate athletic program comply with the Title. IX during the school year 2023-24 and beyond.
“Dartmouth is committed to providing equal opportunity in intercollegiate athletics regardless of gender,” said Hanlon. “Our intention is, and always has been, to ensure that we comply with the law and that we fully live our institutional values of diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Arthur Bryant, the senior advocate for female athletes, said he was encouraged by the end result.
“Our clients, who have stood up for their rights, are incredibly proud,” he said in a statement. “They sincerely hope that Dartmouth will take this opportunity to become a model of gender equity in athletics nationwide.”
High school indoor sports are still waiting for the green light in Vermont.
This week featured outdoor competitions for varsity ski teams, but basketball and hockey players are among the athletes still waiting to hear the season opening dates.
Vermont Education Secretary Dan French said on Friday that little time had passed to understand the impact of protracted practices and team scrums on COVID cases and required quarantines.
During the bi-monthly press conference, Gov. Phil Scott discouraged people from hosting Super Bowl or Daytona 500 parties. He was asked what the state is looking for in the data to start. games, and his response was that officials are always cautious.
“We have opened the next phase and we want to make sure there is no negative effect on it,” Scott said. “We also look a bit at college sports, which we have seen that there has been some transmission between players at this level. It all comes into play. I know people are anxious. I know people are frustrated. I know this is important for children. Getting back to normal is important for all of us. We just don’t want to slip up.
State Health Commissioner Dr Mark Levine added that even a few positive test results could be alarming until more information is gathered.
“We see some cases even in the practice environment,” Levine said. “It doesn’t mean that there are epidemics and outbreaks, but there are cases. So it’s remarkable and it reflects what is happening in the environment around us. We need a little more time in terms of the incubation period of the virus. “
Levine also mentioned that state officials are aware of the mental health issues resulting from the freezing of most forms of competition.
“Mental health is a significant national concern in this pandemic,” he said. “We all recognize the tremendous impact mental health has on the general population. Often times when we hear from parents, coaches, and sometimes the students themselves, mental health is really mentioned as the central issue that we should be addressing by sending everyone back to the competitions they lack. We hear your voices and we empathize enormously and we recognize the magnitude of the problem. We incorporate this concern into the full picture. “
The teams have been allowed to train since December 26 and received the green light for limited contact practices on January 18. Snowboarding and Alpine and Nordic sports have been allowed to compete for the past two weeks.
The hornets cancel the slate
The northern Vermont-Lyndon women’s basketball team has chosen to cancel their season.
The pace continues with the NVU-Johnson team. The Badgers open the season at home against Fisher College on February 7. Their second game of the season is a visit to Castleton on February 11.
The Badgers will play four of their nine games against Norwich. NVU-Lyndon Men’s Basketball Team Announce 10-game schedule February 6 at home against Clarkson and the NVU-Johnson men’s team will begin February 6 at home against Fisher.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker announced an extension of the suspension from interstate youth hockey. competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues until at least March 31.
The ban will not affect U.S. college, professional, or national team interstate hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and / or restrictions. States previously announced a regional suspension until at least January 31 due to coronavirus outbreaks associated with the conduct of interstate hockey activities for young people.
Coaches push for the season
There is no doubt that the pandemic has had an impact on American Legion baseball in Vermont. Legion positions depend on raising funds for their baseball teams and these efforts are currently crippled.
Vermont American Legion baseball commissioner Scott Stevens, however, is convinced that a season will come.
A committee will hold a formal meeting on February 6 to work out the details. The teams from the South Division and the North Division will each have a representative to give their opinion at future meetings. Eric Libardoni of Brattleboro will be the spokesperson for the South. Chris Richards will speak on behalf of the Northern Division.
Stevens said it was the hope that they will offer some perspective and maybe some things that go into decision-making that committee members hadn’t considered. Something on the table will be a final date to decide if a season will take place.
Stevens knows it’s possible the high school season could stretch beyond the normal mid-June period.
“If that happens we will probably have a shorter season,” he said.
Several teams have already expressed interest in hosting the state tournament. It is also possible that the State Legion organization will financially assist the host post this year.
There is a less expensive option of hosting a State Championship weekend. Survivors of a four-team playoff series in each division would meet in a best-of-three series to decide the champion. The traditional eight-team double-elimination tournament could also take place.
Manchester have expressed interest in joining the squad as a new team in the South Division.
“I’m waiting for a request from them now,” Stevens said.
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