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University of Hartford should be ashamed of itself

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

It's been a tough road for the Hawks, and the latest developments are the icing on the cake.

Despite what it may look like, this wasn't taken at a high school gym.

This is University of Hartford's home opener. They played fellow Connecticut program, Sacred Heart. This would've been a normal game, all things considered. But the empty seats, the new court, and the near-silence in the room tell a different story.

Hartford is in the thick of some of the most tumultuous times the university has ever faced. Less than two years removed from giving Baylor - who went on to win the 2021 NCAA Championship - a scare in the first round, the Hawks have seen their basketball program - and their university - tumble.

University of Hartford conducted a feasibility study that wrapped up in 2021. Some expressed frustration that CarrSports - of whom former UConn Athletic Director & BIG EAST consultant, Jeff Hathaway, is Partner - led the charge. Many complained that Hartford, a private institution, accepts some funds from the State of Connecticut (even though marginal). And everyone - yes, everyone - complained about the results.

CarrSports explored 3 models of how to move forward. The first two were par for the course - they examined if Hartford were to remain in the America East, or explore another conference. The third explored Hartford lowering its athletics to Division 3 - and the university's Board of Regents unanimously voted to move forward on account of "enhancing the academic and athletic experience for all."

Let's just say it didn't land well among students.

Since then, it's been a long and winding road for Hartford's impending D3 transition. John Gallagher, who has been a mainstay at the controls for the Hawks basketball program for years, finally got fed up with the University and resigned abruptly on Monday before their hope opener scheduled for less than 36 hours later.

There is some strong language in his resignation letter, like "jeopardizing safety and well-being" of the players, and denying a method to purchase team meals. And not sending an athletic trainer to their latest game was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I can't say I blame John Gallagher for one second.

I don't think I've ever been more embarrassed for the sports world - especially at the collegiate level - than I am for the folks at Hartford. And quite honestly, their president, Greg Woodward should be ashamed of himself. Their recent decisions have tanked enrollment, have lessened the overall experience, and have caused far more harm than good. At what cost was this decision?

And now, with hundreds of student athletes having their experience they were promised disrupted, the pain of this egregious decision must be deservedly felt by Woodward, his cronies, and the so-called "Board of Regents," who swore to advocate for the school's best interests.

Shame on Hartford, and shame on the adults who had the courage to make such a decision that impacted their student-athletes.


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