This article from The Dartmouth includes at least 4 questionable claims about Harry Sheehy’s time at Williams.

During his first year, Sheehy said he plans to forge close relationships with students. Sheehy said he knows “virtually every student-athlete at Williams,” adding that he hopes to do the same at Dartmouth.

Really? There are 600+ student athletes at Williams, with 150 new ones coming in each year. (And that only includes varsity athletes. Sheehy has never been a strong supporter of club sports.) Sheehy knows them all? Recall:

My son says he has never seen Harry at a practice or game in two years, and is quite sure he [Sheehy] couldn’t pick him out of line-up (in spite of the fact that the team and he personally experience considerable success).

Perhaps “virtually every” does not include wrestlers. What say our Eph athlete readers? Does Harry know you?

“He speaks to every visiting recruited athlete [at Williams] which is pretty unique,” BelBruno said.

If by “recruited,” we are talking about the 66 tips, then I guess I would believe that claim. But do all 66 tips visit Williams? Is Harry always on campus when they do? And note that most tips go early decision, so this would make for a very busy fall. Did you speak to Harry when you visited Williams? Tell us about it.

During the final three years of his tenure as athletic director at Williams, Sheehy was able to cut 25 percent of the athletic department’s budget.

Huh? I follow Williams budget news very closely and I have never heard anyone claim that the athletic budget has been cut by 25%. Can anyone provide a link? I also can’t imagine where such huge cuts could have been made. We have the same number (almost) of coaches, getting paid the same amount. Our teams play the same number of games. We may have saved some money but not getting new uniforms as often, but nowhere near 25%.

Check out this record of Williams spending. Is the Provost lying to us? Athletic spending grew by more than 10% from 2005/2006 till 2008/2009. It was up every single year! I guess there is some tiny chance that Harry took an (invisible) ax to the budget in 2009/2010, but I doubt it.

Just how closely did Dartmouth investigate the claims made by Sheehy in the interview process? My guess is that Sheehy, being a smart guy, did not say any obvious untruths. He might have claimed (correctly) to have cut 25% out of “discretionary spending,” or some similar tiny category. If people on the Dartmouth search committee misinterpreted that to refer to the entire budget, that is their mistake.

Chemistry professor Joseph BelBruno, head the search committee, lauded Sheehy’s success while at Williams, emphasizing Sheehy’s strong relationships with coaches.

“One of the things that was most impressive was his evaluation of coaches — it was thorough,” BelBruno said. “The coaches knew what the expectations were. It was different from what we listened to from other candidates — other candidates talked about what they could do, but Harry had done it.”

Hah! Did Professor BelBruno actually confirm this claim for himself. I have my doubts. Every single person I have ever talked to about Williams athletics has claimed that Lisa Melendy does 95% of the coach evaluation work. Has anyone heard differently?

These four claims (about knowing all student athletes, meeting all recruits, cutting the budget by 25% and doing coach evaluations) might all be true. But I doubt it! Informed commentary welcome.

Sheehy was nominated to the committee by an external source when the search began, he said in the interview. Although the search process began two months ago, Sheehy said he was only first contacted by Dartmouth approximately two weeks ago, and signed his letter of intent on Saturday morning.

Who was that external source? EphBlog readers want to know.

The Dartmouth Administration looked closely at Harry Sheehy’s tenure for no more than 2 weeks. How much do you think they missed?

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