Washington

William & Mary AD resigns with school facing potential lawsuit

Washington

William & Mary athletic director Samantha Huge is resigning from her position the school's Twitter account announced on Tuesday. 

She steps down in the wake of the school and department facing potential Title IX issues after the removal of seven sports earlier this year. Additionally, there was wide disdain for the move from the campus community. The move is described as a 'mutual decision' by W&M's announcement.

Men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball were the seven sports that would be discontinued after this academic year. Financial constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic were cited as the reason. Still, several female athletes have threatened to sue unless the sports are reinstated. 

Just a week prior to Huge leaving her position, she posted a public letter to the Tribe community, to continue the discussion of their budget. This was the department's first public statement after plagiarism allegations of their announcement crafted similarly to the University of Stanford's. Neither statements were positively received by certain segments of the community. 

Huge had only been in her position with the Tribe for less than four years. However, her short tenure was not without some unpopular moves. On top of the announcing the elimination of seven of William & Mary's 23 intercollegiate sports, she also made a controversial move by removing long-time head men's basketball coach Tony Shaver after the 2018-19 season. 

 

Shaver had moderate success in his 16 years as head coach but was wildly popular amongst the fan base. One thing that alluded him, though, was a trip to the NCAA Tournament that the program has never experienced in their history. 

Huge came to William & Mary in 2017 with over 17 years of experience in the industry. Her stop in Williamsburg, Va. was her first as the sole director of an athletic department. She previously served as an associate or deputy athletic director at Wake Forest, Georgetown, Delaware and Texas A&M.

Jeremy Martin, chief of staff to school president Katherine Rowe, will serve as the interim director. He has worked at W&M president's office since 2009 and received his MBA and PhD from the school. His background in athletics comes from being an assistant coach for Emory women's basketball and in a role as a SID, according to a release. He also served as liaison to the university's Committee on Competitive Excellence between the president's office and the athletic department for one year.