Huge resigns as Tribe Athletics director

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Athletics Director Samantha Huge resigned from her position Oct. 6 after weeks of controversy surrounding her department's handling of recent athletic cuts. COURTESY PHOTO / TRIBE ATHLETICS

Tribe Athletics Director Samantha Huge resigned from her position Oct. 6 in an administrative shakeup that came less than five weeks after the College of William and Mary announced the suspension of seven varsity sports following the 2020-21 academic year. Since the Sept. 3 announcement, Huge has received extensive criticism from student athletes and community members, both over her handling of the cuts as well as her department’s alleged plagiarism of a Stanford University athletics statement issued earlier this year.

Huge’s departure from Tribe Athletics follows multiple rallies and fundraising efforts conducted by several student-led organizations, which have vigorously lobbied to reinstate the varsity sports since early September. Huge’s troubles also extended into the legal sphere, as representatives from four of the suspended sports teams threatened a lawsuit against the College for alleged Title IX violations last week. 

College President Katherine Rowe announced Huge’s resignation in a community notice the afternoon of Oct. 6.

“She took on that challenge recognizing that it was in the best interest of the university and she continues to make decisions using that standard as her guide. Now it is clear to me that a new approach is necessary.”

“Athletics Director Samantha Huge was asked to lead difficult change at William & Mary – change required to address long-standing imbalances and put the athletics department on sound financial and operational footing for years to come,” Rowe said in an email. “She took on that challenge recognizing that it was in the best interest of the university and she continues to make decisions using that standard as her guide. Now it is clear to me that a new approach is necessary. Accordingly, Director Huge and I have mutually agreed that it is best to part ways so the university can focus on the critical questions facing W&M Athletics. I accept this step with a heavy heart and with great respect for Samantha Huge and her leadership.”

Replacing Huge as interim athletics director is Jeremy Martin Ph.D. ‘12 M.B.A. ‘17, who previously served as Rowe’s chief of staff. Martin has filled several administrative positions in the President’s Office since he began working at the College in 2009, and he formerly served as an assistant women’s basketball coach and an assistant sports information director at Emory University. 

As of 3 p.m. Oct. 6, Huge’s biography and contact information was no longer available on the Tribe Athletics website. 

Lindsay Schott ’19, a former track and field student athlete and a representative for Save Tribe Track & Field, said that Huge’s resignation marked an important step forward, but that it alone would be insufficient in alleviating crises associated with the College’s varsity sports cuts.

“A change in leadership was clearly needed, but it is impossible to rebuild trust with the community and with the impacted students without reinstating these teams,” Schott said in a written statement. “I don’t think you’ll see the pressure from alumni ease up until that basic step is taken.”

This is an evolving story and may be updated. Last updated 4 p.m. Oct. 6.