Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative

Revising Varsity and Club Rosters

Changing the status of varsity and club teams as one of the four core actions to contribute to increased competitiveness.

In May 2020, Brown’s governing body, the Corporation of Brown University, approved a set of recommendations from a Committee on Excellence in Athletics to transition 11 varsity teams to club status and transition two club teams to varsity status. This is one of the initiative’s four core actions to increase Brown’s competitiveness. On June 9, the list of teams transitioning was further revised; the varsity status of men's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field, and men's cross country (three sports under federal Title IX rules) was reinstated such that the updated number of varsity teams transitioning to club status became eight. The result is the net reduction in the number of varsity teams from 38 to 32.

8 varsity teams transitioning to club status:

  • men’s and women’s fencing
  • men’s and women’s golf
  • women’s skiing
  • men’s and women’s squash
  • women’s equestrian

Many of these club teams already exist, including golf, skiing, squash and running. New club teams in fencing and equestrian will be created if there is sufficient student interest.

Two club teams transitioning to varsity status:

  • coed sailing
  • women’s sailing

Through the Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative, the University ceased training, competition and related operations at the varsity level for the 8 teams transitioning to club status. The Committee on Excellence in Athletics was guided by the following principles in its considerations:

  • enhancing the quality of the student experience in athletics
  • increasing competitiveness in varsity athletics
  • providing for gender equity
  • ensuring diversity and inclusion
  • sustaining reasonable support for the pursuit of excellence
  • building a stronger University community with a focus on affinity, pride and collegiate loyalty