Gadfly writes:

The University of Michigan has 26 varsity sports (including cheerleading); Duke has about 22. So how much sense does it make for a tiny liberal-arts college to support 32 varsity teams?

A lot of sense. Comments:

1) Gadfly ought to join us as an anonymous author. His/her point of view is not well-represented at EphBlog.

2) Although there might come a time when sports need to be cut, there is at least $10 million of cuts that ought to come first. Trim that spending and then we can talk.

3) Gadfly’s opinion is not unusual among Williams faculty. I have had at least two faculty members rail against the stupidity of the Directors Cup to me in person in just the last 6 months. All those who attack me for the cuts I want to make should recognize that, if we don’t make those cuts, there will not be 32 varsity sports at Williams for many more years.

4) I am pro-athlete (and anti-tip). I would like to see Williams have even more teams, especially things like JV lacrosse/baseball and freshmen soccer. There are hundreds of Ephs who would like to play for Williams. There more that they have the chance to, the better.

Moreover, the mission of Williams is to be the best college in the world, and that implies that the students here should have a better experience at Williams than they would have had elsewhere. And sports are a critical part of that experience. Don’t believe me? Ask the women on the crew team. They will tell you that their Williams experience would have been much worse without crew.

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