- Division III (NCAA)
The division consists of colleges and universities that choose not to offer athletically related financial aid (athletic scholarships) to their student-athletes. There are 449 member institutions (both full and provisional), making Division III (D-III) the largest of the three divisions sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
D-III schools range in size from less than 500 to over 20,000 students. D-III schools compete in athletics as a non-revenue making, extracurricular activity for students; hence, they may not offer athletic scholarships, they may not redshirt freshmen for non-medical reasons and they may not use endowments or funds whose primary purpose is to benefit their athletic programs. Also, under NCAA rules, D-III schools "shall not award financial aid to any student on the basis of athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance". Financial aid given to athletes must be awarded under the same procedures as for the general student body, and the proportion of total financial aid given to athletes "shall be closely equivalent to the percentage of student-athletes within the student body."
All Division III schools must field athletes in at least ten sports, with men's and women's competition in a given sport counting as two different sports. In 2012, coeducational schools with more than 1,000 undergraduates must field athletes in at least twelve sports, with at least six all-female teams and at least six teams that are either all-male or mixed-sex. Schools with fewer than 1,000 undergraduates must still field at least five sports in each category. Single-sex schools need only field the required number of sports for the sex which they serve. For all schools regardless of enrollment, at least three sports for each sex must be team sports.
Conferences competing in Division III
- Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference
- American Southwest Conference*
- Atlantic Central Football Conference*
- Capital Athletic Conference
- Centennial Conference*
- City University of New York Athletic Conference
- College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin*
- Colonial States Athletic Conference
- Commonwealth Coast Conference
- Eastern Collegiate Football Conference*
- Empire 8 Conference*
- Great Northeast Athletic Conference
- Great South Athletic Conference
- Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference*
- Illini-Badger Football Conference*
- Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference*
- Landmark Conference
- Liberty League*
- Little East Conference
- Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference
- Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association*
- Middle Atlantic Conference*
- Midwest Conference*
- Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference*
- New England Collegiate Conference
- New England Football Conference*
- New England Small College Athletic Conference*
- New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference
- New Jersey Athletic Conference*
- North Atlantic Conference
- North Coast Athletic Conference*
- North Eastern Athletic Conference
- Northern Athletics Conference*
- Northwest Conference*
- Ohio Athletic Conference*
- Old Dominion Athletic Conference*
- Presidents' Athletic Conference*
- St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference*
- Skyline Conference
- Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference*
- Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference*
- State University of New York Athletic Conference
- University Athletic Association*
- Upper Midwest Athletic Conference*
- USA South Athletic Conference*
- Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference*
* Conference sponsors football
Seven of the 12 schools in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference—all of the members east of the Mississippi, plus Hendrix College in Arkansas—will leave in July 2012 to form a new D-III conference to be known as the Southern Athletic Association. These departures will leave the SCAC with four members in Texas and one in Colorado; that conference will add a Louisiana school in 2012.
Division III schools with Division I programs
13 D-III schools currently play up to the Division I level in one or two sports (one for each gender maximum).
Seven of them are grandfathered schools which have traditionally competed at the highest level of a particular sport prior to the institution of the Division classifications in 1971. These schools are allowed to offer athletic scholarships in their Division I sports to remain competitive with their opponents.
- Clarkson University (men's and women's ice hockey)
- Colorado College (men's ice hockey and women's soccer)
- Hartwick College (men's soccer and women's water polo)
- Johns Hopkins University (men's and women's lacrosse)
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (men's and women's ice hockey)
- Rutgers-Newark (men's volleyball)
- St. Lawrence University (men's and women's ice hockey)
(SUNY Oneonta was previously grandfathered in men's soccer but dropped down to Division III in 2006.)
The other six schools choose to play up in one sport for men and optionally one sport for women, but they are not grandfathered and thus are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships. Academic-based and need-based financial aid is still available.
- Franklin and Marshall College (men's wrestling)
- Hobart College (men's lacrosse)
- Lawrence University (fencing)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (men's and women's rowing)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (men's ice hockey)
- Union College (men's and women's ice hockey)
Football and basketball may not be grandfathered Division I programs because their revenue-enhancing potential would give them an unfair advantage over other Division III schools. In 1992, several Division III schools who competed at the Division I level in basketball, most notably Georgetown University, were forced to upgrade the rest of their athletic program to a Division I level.
The NCAA currently has a moratorium in place on schools moving divisions, including Division III schools playing up to Division I.
In 2003, concerned about the direction of the Division, the Division III Presidents' Council, led by Middlebury College President John McCardell, acted to limit the length of the traditional and non-traditional seasons, eliminate redshirting, and redefine a season of participation, all of which were approved by a majority vote of the membership.
An additional proposal which would have eliminated the ability of the institutions listed above to offer athletic scholarships was rejected, though rules limiting the exception to only those schools currently offering D-I programs was approved. These actions took place at the January 2004 NCAA Convention.
- ^ NCAA. "2007-2008 NCAA Division III Manual" (PDF). pp. Page 90. Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20071128112315/http://www.ncaa.org/library/membership/division_iii_manual/2007-08/2007-08_d3_manual.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-07. "188.8.131.52 Minimum Amount of Participation"
- ^ "Bylaw 20.11.2 Financial Aid Limitations." (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. p. 184. http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D312.pdf. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- ^ "Bylaw 15.4.1 Consistent Financial Aid Package." (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. p. 108. http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D312.pdf. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- ^ a b "Bylaw 20.11.3 Sports Sponsorship." (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. pp. 184–87. http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D312.pdf. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- ^ http://www.d3independents.org/files/future/WP_Issue%20Four_Division%20II%20as%20Possible%20Membership%20Destination.pdf
- ^ USCHO: Scholarships Will Continue For D-III 'Play Up' Schools
- ^ College Sporting News: NCAA Division I Board Enacts Four-Year Moratorium on Accepting New Members
- NCAA official website
- NCAA official sports website
- D3football.com, covers Division III football
- D3Wrestle.com, covers Division III wrestling
- D3hoops.com, covers Division III men's and women's basketball
- D3baseball.com, covers Division III baseball
- D3soccer.com, covers Division III men's and women's soccer
- D3soccer.net, covers Division III men's soccer
- D3Soccer Message Board, covers Division III men's and women's soccer
- D3Kicks.com, covers Division III soccer
- USCHO.com, covers Division III men's and women's ice hockey
- D3swimming.com, covers Division III swimming
National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA Division I sports
Institutions • Athletic Directors • Baseball (Championship, CWS) • Basketball (Men, Women) • Women's Bowling • Boxing • Cross Country (Men, Women) • Fencing (Championship) • Women's Field Hockey • Football (FBS / BCS, FCS) • Golf (Men, Women) • Gymnastics (Men, Women) • Ice Hockey (Men, Women) • Lacrosse (Men, Women) • Rifle • Rowing (Women's Championship) • Skiing • Soccer (Men, Women) • Softball (Championship, CWS) • Swimming & Diving (Men, Women) • Tennis (Men, Women) • Track & Field (Men's Indoor & Outdoor, Women's Indoor & Outdoor) • Volleyball (Men, Women) • Water Polo (Men, Women) • Wrestling (Championship)
Division II Division III
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