University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward and Board of Regents Chair David A. Gordon sent an email to all UHart students late Thursday night that the school’s Athletic program will start the process of moving to NCAA Division III from Division I pending league approval.
This decision is reported to have been discussed for over a year before officially being released. It is intended to achieve the university’s goal of creating a better college experience for all students.
“As a result of careful consideration and extensive discussions, the Board determined that Division III’s approach to intercollegiate athletics better aligns with the University’s mission and goals of creating exceptional academic, co-curricular, and wellness experiences for all students,” President Woodward cites in the email.
The announcement comes just weeks after a study conducted by an outside athletics consulting firm was leaked to the public, causing controversy amongst the campus community. This resulted in several protests across UHart, including the organization of a rally that was attended by both current athletes and students. As per the initial timeline provided by the University, the school will continue recruiting for Division I Athletics until the 2022-2023 academic year.
“We understand that many members of our community will be disappointed by this decision and may have questions about how this impacts them,” wrote Board of Regents Chair Gordon. “Our student-athletes, coaches, and athletics staff have dedicated their time, talent, and energy to represent UHart across our sports, often making sacrifices in order to do so. We are grateful that they chose to compete as Hawks and look forward to their continued contributions to the strength of our shared community.”
This is a developing story, and STN will provide updates as they become available.