New Canaan Athletic Director Confirms: Investigation Underway into Alleged Security Breach of Video Analysis Tool Hudl


New Canaan High School’s athletic director has confirmed that officials are investigating an alleged security breach of an online sports application that Rams coaches and players—including our state champion varsity football team—use to evaluate video footage and set strategies for games.

Asked about the rumors swirling around a possible breach of the video analysis tool, Hudl, Athletic Director Jay Egan said that the Lincoln, Neb.-based itself is investigating its own security system and password distribution system.

“We think that may be it,” Egan said. “We are in the process of investigating that right now. We don’t believe that it is any school, we don’t believe that it is any individual that, certainly any adults that are involved in it. It certainly is traceable through the IP address of the user.”

Asked how possible it is that a New Canaan player may have passed on a password, Egan said: “I think that is urban legend, I think it is rumor mill. I think that it is something that shouldn’t have gotten to be public until we can determine what happened, because I think it is more an issue with Hudl and their security protocols than it is with anybody else. I cannot say some student in some school didn’t get a password—I don’t know if that happened or not.”

Asked how the matter came to his attention, Egan said a football coach mentioned it to him after New Canaan’s dramatic 21-20 win over Darien in the CIAC Class L Large championship game on Saturday. The win followed Darien’s equally stirring comeback victory over the Rams for the FCIAC championship on Thanksgiving Day.

Hudl is a storage and video tutorial site used extensively by the New Canaan Rams football team. It allows coaches to communicate with players by manipulating practice and game film to review strategies and plays. (NCHS lacrosse also uses Hudl extensively, Egan said, and the basketball and wrestling teams use it, too, under a school license funded by the All Sports Booster Club.)

If accessed by an opponent prior to a game, the system could be hugely useful in planning.

Asked what use Hudl would be and whether it represents a “playbook,” strictly speaking, Egan said: “I think more a case of coaches’ comments about practice plans for a particular game, so that would be like video-scouting reports.”

“It’s the coaches plan for last Saturday’s game, there are a number of scenarios where they look at what were Darien’s plans for us and there are a number of ways they can devise they will offensively attack or defensively scheme, so that is part of our football, you will make adjustments game to game and that is not something you would want to share with your opponent,” he said. “It is part of your work to make sure adjust to what we do, and vice versa, so that is the coaching piece, so you wouldn’t want this information to be public.”

One feature of Hudl is that the program records not just the IP address of users logging in to use it, but also how long each individual is logged in for. Egan said he was told following New Canaan’s big win on Saturday that an unusual login had been flagged.

“So they may have determined this through internal information that they have, their different accounts,” Egan said.

He underscored that while Hudl’s own investigation is active, the matter rightly should be handled internally.

“Like everything else it’s public and there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and it has more to do with Hudl’s security protocols than it has to do with either team, either coaching staff or any kids,” he said.

The football coaches could not immediately be reached for comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *