Division II (or DII) is an intermediate-level division of competition in the
National Collegiate Athletic Association. It offers an alternative to both the highly competitive (and highly expensive) level of intercollegiate sports offered in NCAA Division Iand to the non-scholarship level offered in Division III. It was formerly called the NCAA College Division
ESPNtelevises the football championship game, CBStelevises the men's basketballchampionship, and ESPN2televises the women's basketballchampionship.
Division II schools tend to be smaller public universities and many private institutions. Athletic scholarships are offered in most sponsored sports at most institutions, but with more stringent limits as to the numbers offered in any one sport than at the Division I level. For example, Division II schools may give up to 36 football scholarships (whereas Division I FBS, the highest level, is allowed 85 football scholarships), although some Division II conferences limit the number of scholarships to a lower level. Division II scholarship programs are frequently the recipients of student-athletes transferring from Division I schools; a transfer student does not have to sit out a year before resuming sports participation as would be the case in the event of transferring from one Division I institution to another (with the exception of football players transferring from a Division I FBS school to a Division I FCS school, who also do not have to sit out a year). Currently there are 282 either full or provisional members of Division II.
:Conferences competing in Division II
California Collegiate Athletic Association::* Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference::* Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association^::* Conference Carolinas(formerly Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference or CVAC)::* East Coast Conference::* Great Lakes Football Conference::* Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference^::* Great Lakes Valley Conference::* Great Northwest Athletic Conference::* Gulf South Conference^::* Heartland Conference::* Lone Star Conference^::* Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association^::* North Central Conference^::* Northeast Ten Conference^::* Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference^::* Pacific West Conference::* Peach Belt Conference::* Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference^::* Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference^::* South Atlantic Conference^::* Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference^::* Sunshine State Conference::* West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference^
^ Conferences that sponsor football.
Interaction with other divisions
The NCAA does not strictly prevent its member institutions from playing outside of their own division, or indeed playing against schools that are not members of the NCAA. Division II schools often compete against
Division I, Division IIIor even the NAIA
Many Division II schools frequently schedule matches against members of the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, which specializes primarily in smaller institutions and is something of a rival collegiate sports sanctioning authority to the NCAA.
Division II schools also frequently schedule "money games", usually men's
basketballgames, against Division I schools, particularly lesser-known ones, early in the season in which they are almost invariably the visiting team and are invited to play with the almost-certain knowledge that they will be defeated but will receive a substantial (at least by Division II standards) monetary reward which will help to finance much of the rest of the season and perhaps other sports as well.
Non-revenue sports competition
Matches between the three divisions in non-revenue sports are often quite competitive; the difference in the level of competition between the two divisions is often considerably less in these sports than it is in football and men's or women's
basketball. Indeed, in some sports, among them ice hockeyand men's volleyball, there is no Division II competition. In hockey, many schools whose athletic programs are otherwise Division II compete in Division I or Division III, while in men's volleyball, which has no NCAA-sanctioned divisional structure, Division II members are allowed to award the same number of scholarships as Division I members.
Pressure to move to Division I or III
The viability of Division II as an ongoing operation in the medium-to-long term is frequently called into question; it is noted that these institutions' athletics programs share many of the major expenses of their Division I counterparts with regard especially to scholarships, facilities upkeep, and travel while receiving for the most part far smaller gate receipts and almost no
televisionrevenue. An increasing number of Division II schools are under pressure from administrators, boosters, and other interested parties either to "step up" to Division I or down to Division III; as a result, the NCAA has adopted rules which tend to make it harder for new institutions to join Division I, such as minimum attendance requirements for football and a long waiting period (now eight years) before a new Division I institution can participate in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament("March Madness") or share in its considerable revenues.
* [http://www.ncaa.org NCAA official website]
* [http://NCAAsports.com NCAA official sports website]
* [http://www.siue.edu/ATHLETIC/d2/conf.html list of all DII conferences & schools]
* [http://www.d2football.com D2Football.com]
* [http://www.d2sportstalk.blogspot.com D2 SportsTalk]
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