Hartwick College's board of trustees announced on Wednesday that it has voted to end its participation in NCAA Division I sports for men's soccer and women's water polo.
continue to offer men's soccer as one of its Division III sports but discontinue women's water polo. Men's soccer has been a Division I at Hartwick since 1973.
Hartwick won the 1977 NCAA
Division I men's soccer championship, making it the smallest school to ever win a Division I championship. It made seven final four appearances in all (1970, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1985) and
produced back-to-back Hermann Trophy winners in Glenn Myernick
(1976) and Billy Gazonas
But only three of Hartwick's 25 NCAA Tournament appearances came in the last
20 years. It most recently qualified in 2015 when it won the Sun Belt title. It went 7-9-2 in 2017.
Hartwick, which first sponsored soccer in 1956 and has been the only non-Division I
school playing Division I soccer in recent years, has jumped around from conference to conference to find a consistent schedule, from the Atlantic Soccer Conference to Mid-American and finally the Sun
Belt. The closest soccer school in the Sun Belt is Howard, based in Washington, D.C.
In its letter to the Hartwick committee, the board said the school provides over $925,000 per year in
extraordinary athletic aid to 54 Division I student-athletes in addition to standard merit and need-based financial aid of $1.3 million. Women’s water polo was added as a Hartwick Division I
varsity sport in 2001 to meet Title IX guidelines.
Hartwick currently sponsors 15 Division III sports and competes in the Empire 8 Conference. One in three students plays at the varsity
level at Hartwick, which even added football.
The move to downgrade men's soccer had been discussed before by the board. One of the board members is former Hartwick All-American David
, who is the chairman and CEO of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. He is one of a long line of Hartwick players who came over from Liverpool and include his brother Steve
, a star on
the 1977 championship team.