U of Hartford to Move From DI to DIII Athletics

May 10, 2021

Two months after its men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time, Hartford University's Board of Regents decided to transition the university’s athletics program from Division I to Division III, the Hartford Courant reported.

The transition could save the department as much as $9.2 million annually, according to a report commissioned by the university. Critics of the shift dispute that total.

A move to Division III will allow the university to focus more on the academic, co-curricular and wellness experience for all students, David Gordon, chair of the board, said in a statement.

The private university in West Hartford, Conn., will submit a formal request to the NCAA to join Division III in January 2022. Officials hope the program will be reclassified by September 2025.

Scholarships and coaching contracts will continue to be honored, according to the university.

“It’s a day of mixed emotions for us, without question,” Kathy Behrens, vice chair of the board, told the Courant. “The board has been thoughtful and careful in our deliberations. I thought the discussion we had this evening was reflective of that.

“I think this was clear this was the direction the board felt we should go in. Having said that, we realize it’s disappointing to a lot of people. We feel like it sets the university up on a good path for long-term success,” she said.

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