Exclusive: Could the University of Hartford downgrade its athletic program?

News 8 Exclusive

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A surprising secret plan at the University of Hartford. Weeks after making history, News 8 has learned there is a plan to drastically downgrade the athletic program at UHart.

It was a big moment: the University of Hartford Hawks were going to NCAA tournament for the first time ever. They lost to eventual national champion Baylor in the first round, but it changed the way people looked at the often overlooked university.

The school got accolades from all over, Governor Lamont, Senator Chris Murphy, and Mayor Luke Bronin.

News 8 has the confidential study conducted over the winter by Carr Sports Consulting, a company run by former UConn Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway. The study looked at the feasibility of Division One Athletics at the University of Hartford.

The major findings? That UHart loses 13 million dollars a year on sports, and that Division One funding model is not viable and cannot achieve the goal of becoming more self-sustaining.

The study recommends that “UHart should explore viable membership options in NCAA Division Three that will align with the university’s mission.”

“Obviously it has gotten out. The document you are holding is supposed to be confidential,” said university president Gregory Woodward.

News 8 asked Woodward about the study who said no decision has been made.

“Look at the University of Hartford, how many of our players go pro one or two a year that’s not our goal. We will do the right thing for this university and all of our 7,000 student,” said Woodward.

He said the school loses millions on athletics and that the NCAA tournament won’t change that

“Everyone thinks you make tournament you hit the jackpot. We didn’t get a cent from the tournament and congratulations to our great kids but we are losing money doing this,” said Woodward. “I don’t think what the world understands is that everyone who plays Division One sports loses money, except for about 22 schools. There are about 350 schools in Division One, only 23 make money the rest of us lose.”

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