Update Jan 30: there is a fair amount of good reporting on the reinstatement of the four athletic programs at Dartmouth, in particular a long article covering golf alums' efforts going back to July. Links:
The Dartmouth Men's Lightweight rowing team has been reinstated by the university, along with four other sports eliminated in July 2020, women's and men's swimming and diving, women's and men's golf. The reinstatement "comes after Dartmouth recently learned that elements of the data Athletics used to confirm continued Title IX compliance may not have been complete," per Dartmouth's press release. Title IX is the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in programs and activities at universities receiving federal funding.
"This news is more surprising than the elimination was in the first place," said Dan Roock, whose position as Dartmouth Lightweight Men's coach was eliminated by the university when the team was cut. "I'm very pleased and excited for the Dartmouth rowers past, present, and future. It's too soon to know anything more."
The cutting of the Dartmouth lights in July 2020 provoked immediate reactions from current athletes and alumni, as well as the wider rowing world, coming amidst the loss of a number of other well-established collegiate rowing programs in the summer and fall of 2020.
For students and coaches within the affected programs at Dartmouth, the results would appear to be immediate. "Students who had been athletes on the teams were notified early today of the reinstatement in an email from President Philip J. Hanlon '77," the Dartmouth release stated. "They are invited to a meeting this evening with Athletics Director Harry Sheehy. By Monday, Dartmouth will have begun the search for coaches for the reinstated teams. The coaches who were let go when the teams were eliminated will be offered the right of first refusal on returning to their positions."
President Hanlon stated that "we know that many in our community have been disappointed by the decisions we have made within Athletics and across the institution. The news that the data used to confirm Title IX compliance in connection with the team eliminations may not have been complete only adds to that disappointment."
"We sincerely apologize that this process has been, and continues to be, so painful to our current and former student-athletes and all who support them," he said. "Through the actions above, we will make sure that any future decisions will be based on accurate data. Our sincere hope is that these reviews and team reinstatements will create an opportunity for us to come together as a community as we navigate the challenging times ahead."
Going forward, the university will undertake three reviews of the situation surrounding Dartmouth Athletics:
Holland & Knight, a national law firm with expertise in Title IX compliance, will conduct a gender-equity review of varsity athletics. The firm will request and consider input from student-athletes and alumni, including those from the reinstated teams, as part of the review, which is to be completed no later than March 15, 2022. The Ivy League, of which Dartmouth is a member, will conduct an NCAA compliance review of varsity athletics. And Dartmouth's auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, will conduct a process-and-control review of Dartmouth Athletics to examine administrative systems to make certain appropriate business practices are being followed and effective governance structures are in place.
For the full Dartmouth press release, please click here