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Sheehy ’75 Did Not Cut the Athletic Budget by 25%

EphBlog’s readers are everywhere.

In the interview, [Dartmouth President] Kim also responded to criticism from Williams College EphBlog about recently-appointed athletic director Harry Sheehy. In a post dated Aug. 7, EphBlog challenged claims that Sheehy had reduced the budget for Williams’ Athletic Department by 25 percent, also claiming that his involvement in choosing coaches — a significant factor in his appointment at Dartmouth — was more limited than members of the search committee claimed.

Sheehy was vetted “very carefully” by officials involved in his appointment, Kim said, pointing to Sheehy’s record as one of the winningest athletic directors in the country, despite budget reductions and cuts in the number of athletes admitted to Williams.

“There are always bloggers; we know that very well,” Kim said. “The evidence is clear: [Sheehy] has been the most successful athletic director in the country.”

Joseph Asch comments at Dartblog:

I am a big fan of Sheehy so far, and I have no position on Ephblog’s criticisms, which this space did not write about in early August when they were made. However, Sheehy did say in Hanover that he had reduced the Williams athletics budget by 25% (which does not seem to be borne out by Williams’ own figures). I heard him myself and so did The D.

Of greater moment, do notice that President Kim did not address directly the assertions made by Ephblog (and The D’s interviewer did not push him to do so). Jim Kim is clever like that.

Indeed. Anyone who claims that Sheehy cut the athletic budget by 25% at Williams is either misinformed (by Sheehy?) or a liar. Which one is Dartmouth President Kim? The D (student newspaper at Dartmouth) ought to find out. The numbers are what they are.

2004/2005: $5.2 million
2005/2006: $5.6 million
2006/2007: $6.2 million
2007/2008: $6.3 million
2008/2009: $6.4 million

See much cutting going on? No. You can say many wonderful things about Sheehy’s time as AD, but there was not a great deal of budget discipline. If Sheehy’s claim to have cut athletic spending by 25% in the last three years is true, then 2009/2010 spending should be about $4.7 million. Inconceivable.


UPDATE: Full data on spending by category at Williams available from the Provost.