FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD THREATENS TO BECOME A DIII UNIVERSITY
WEST HARTFORD, CT- The University of Hartford is currently considering stepping down from a DI athletic university to Division III. The students, parents, athletes and alumni are now fighting back, asking the university not to make this switch.
If President Gregory Woodward recommends this decision to the Board of Trustees, it could mean current athletes may have to switch schools to continue as DI athletes. Furthermore, the athletes who have applied and decided to attend UHart will now have to determine if they wish to attend UHart next fall or switch schools to play as DI athletes.
Students say leaving DI would decrease the school’s value following the basketball team qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the first time in the university’s history, and it would suggest President Woodward seriously underappreciates all of the hours of hard work that the athletes have put in. Many current and former students have worked hard for years to advance the teams to where they are now. To make such a significant switch, these students say, would not be fair to the hard work that those students have put in.
The president has said the university is considering this decision because it is losing a great deal of money. But countless observers and experts say switching to DIII won’t help fix this problem because the school’s athletic department contributes significantly to the university’s positive image. They maintain that switching to DIII is not the answer to the university’s dilemma.
By remaining a DI athletic university, many more students to come will benefit from what the school offers, say the students who this is affecting. Their message to President Woodward and the Board of Trustees: Don’t make this detrimental change, because we are confident that by remaining DI, we are helping the university in profound ways that cannot be accounted for in dollars and cents, but in pride.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PROFESSOR
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
“The language in there, to me, sounded like he made his mind up already.” – Traci Carter, on President Woodward’s statement. NBC Connecticut
“Throughout all of this there has been no transparency. Something gets leaked and then we find out about it and then we’re reacting to it.” – DJ Mitchell. NBC Connecticut
“Just sounds like they’ve been planning this and they’re doing whatever they can to, or the ‘spin doctors’ are doing whatever they can to persuade the people making the decision.” – DJ Mitchell. NBC Connecticut
“Now we have to not only recruit them but convince them, ‘hey trust in this program.’” – DJ Mitchell, on potential UHart recruits. NBC Connecticut.
“Listening to it and reading it, it was just devastating, another punch to the gut for everybody on the day the news was leaked.”–Daniele Rocheleau. Hartford Courant
“A week and a half, two weeks after we had come back from March Madness and we didn’t really get a chance to celebrate. Just sounds like they’ve been planning this and they’re doing whatever they can to, or the ‘spin doctors’ are doing whatever they can to persuade the people making the decision.”–DJ Mitchell. NBC Connecticut
“I understand with the pandemic, it does cause people to be in financial trouble, so that I understand, but the whole proposal was a shock to me.”–Melissa Pereira. Hartford Courant
LINKS TO NEWS COVERAGE
Prof. Dawn Ennis: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117
Contact for UHart President GREGORY WOODWARD:
Office is 860-768-4417 and 860-768-5417 is Fax
Students participating in this project are:
Prof. Dawn Ennis