Last week, the University of Hartford made official its decision to step down from Division I competition to Division III. The decision, however, is being met with backlash from student-athletes and coaches alike.
The school’s softball program pushed back against the decision by playing its double-header against Binghamton University on Friday in uniforms altered to blackout the university’s name according to NBC Connecticut. A photo of the team posed with the blacked-out uniforms appeared in a tweet from University of Hartford baseball player Robert Carmody.
Hartford’s board of regents voted to move the school to D-III after a consultant’s report indicated the school could save more than $9 million annually by doing so. While the transition won’t be immediate, the school will reportedly submit a reclassification request to the NCAA in January 2022 with plans for the transition to be complete by Sept. 1, 2025.
Hartford coach John Gallagher posted a statement expressing his displeasure with the decision on Twitter.
School president Gregory Woodward issued a statement announcing the move.
“The University of Hartford owes so much to the generations of student-athletes and athletics staff who have added immeasurably to our community and are a source of pride for the university.
"As we transition to this new model for intercollegiate athletics in the coming years, I am energized by the opportunities we will have to support the success of all of our students, including our student-athletes.”