I asked a similar question on another post but it got me thinking. 

Does anybody know how the NCAA and NJCAA divisions are aligned? What are the thresholds for D1 as opposed to D2? D2 vs D3? Is it entirely football based? Is it funding across sports? Strength of program? Curious as to why some schools are still D1 if they are barely funded and have bad programs across almost all sports. Curious as to why some schools are at lower levels when they are strong in most sports and fund. What separates the JUCO tiers? Is football required to be a D1 juco? 

I know some non D1 schools have D1 sports (JHU Lax). Not looking for outliers, roster info, or budgets, just curious as to what is keeping some programs at higher levels and what is holding others back. A lot of questions but the main idea is what separates these schools? 

Original Post

There must be some parameters and requirements, because a school wanting to move from one Division to another (most often it seems, from DII to DI), has to apply to the NCAA and go through a review and approval process.  And then for certain sports, for the first year or two it is not eligible for the championship competition in its new Division.  But Division status is not strictly based on enrollment, because there are schools with 3,000 - 4,000 students who are Division I, and DII and DIII schools that have considerably higher enrollment.  DI FBS division football might have size/enrollment requirements, but apparently not other DI sports.

It seems that to a great degree, Division classification is up to the university and its chosen goals/image.  Some want to be seen as competing at the "highest" level athletically, and presumably hope to gain publicity by competing in DI.  Others espouse a more "traditional" view of the student/athlete and put more focus on academics and classify as DIII.  As we know, the Ivy League purports to have the best of both worlds  - DI competition but without athletic scholarships.  Patriot League is similar although apparently they allow a few athletic scholarships.  I'm sure there are a few college ADs here who can enlighten us!

The following is some basics. There are waivers available. For example, Hopkins is D3 with a waiver for D1 lacrosse. 

Division I schools have to offer 14 sports. They must have men’s and women’s teams participating in the fall, winter and spring seasons. They also have to play a minimum number of games against other DI programs.

Division II schools have to offer 10 sports, and coed schools have to have 4 sports for men and 4 for women. Division schools play most often against schools in their regions.

Division III is the largest division in NCAA. The focus for all students attending Division III schools is academics. They do not provide any athletic scholarships.

Last edited by RJM
cabbagedad posted:

There are also attendance (and, therefore, facility capacity) requirements for D1 FBS schools.

http://www.ncaa.org/about/who-...ision-classification

 

Great link thanks!  This is a summary of course, but I noticed there is no mention of enrollment size as a requirement for any classification.  Which of course differs from most state High School division classifications, where enrollment is the primary (if not sole) differentiating factor between divisions.

cabbagedad posted:

There are also attendance (and, therefore, facility capacity) requirements for D1 FBS schools.

http://www.ncaa.org/about/who-...ision-classification

 

The attendance "mandates" obviously aren't real serious.  I can assure you that there are MAC schools that haven't averaged anywhere close to 15,000 in any rolling 2 year period in a long time.  I guess maybe "tickets sold" is somehow calculated rather than actual butts in the stands for this number.  That can be the only way they are reaching 15K

Buckeye 2015 posted:
cabbagedad posted:

There are also attendance (and, therefore, facility capacity) requirements for D1 FBS schools.

http://www.ncaa.org/about/who-...ision-classification

 

The attendance "mandates" obviously aren't real serious.  I can assure you that there are MAC schools that haven't averaged anywhere close to 15,000 in any rolling 2 year period in a long time.  I guess maybe "tickets sold" is somehow calculated rather than actual butts in the stands for this number.  That can be the only way they are reaching 15K

Here’s your answer ...

"The Miami Student" reports an average of 10,000 tickets per football game were being bought by the school to keep it from falling out of the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly called Division I-A). The NCAA requires each school in the FBS to average at least 15,000 in actual or paid attendance per game.

https://www.abc15.com/news/nat...rs-stay-in-divisions

The av­er­age count of tick­ets scanned at home games—the num­ber of fans who ac­tu­ally show up—is about 71% of the at­ten­dance you see in a box score, ac­cord­ing to data from the 2017 sea­son col­lected by The Wall Street Jour­nal. In the Mid-Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence, with less-prom­inent programs like Cen­tral Mi­chigan and Toledo, teams’ scanned at­ten­dance num­bers were 45% of announced at­tendance.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/c...rticle_copyURL_share

Last edited by RJM

Seems about right.   So if the school is buying the tickets themselves to inflate numbers and the NCAA is ok with it.....what's the point of having the requirement lol.   I guess having 16,000 show up in the box score when there were 7,000 in attendance makes a difference?

Schools self select. They decide what division they want to be in and shoot for the requirements. Most D3 schools are in D3 because that is where they want to be. Not too long ago there was talk of a Division 4. The D3 tent is stretched pretty thin. Many of the Larger state schools that were in D3, wanted to allow Grey shirting and other options just like some of the higher divisions. Many of the smaller D3 schools wanted to stay away from that type of thing. The smaller higher priced schools goal is generally, to get students through in 4 years. Adding Grey shirts essentially gives a 5th year. That is fine for many of the big state schools who many of the students are on a 5 year plan anyway. 

It never passed, however it sometimes still raises it ugly head. In fact the MIAC pushed St Thomas for being too Good.

https://www.espn.com/college-s...too-much-kicked-miac

Of coarse I believe to get into D1 you need a conference invite. 

UMass recently went from FCS to FBS (a huge mistake) without conference affiliation. I know others in the past have moved from D2 or D3 to D1 without affiliation. The problem for many of these programs is consistent scheduling. 

Thanks, RJM,

I know that St Tomas is trying to go straight to D1. If a school wants to move from D3 to D1 they must make a stop in D2. 

St Thomas has asked for a waiver from the NCAA. They have an invite to the Summit League. They would still need to find a place for their football team to play, like the Pioneer League

Come to think of it the D3 to D1 moves I’m aware of were unique. The college was D1 as a whole. A new sport went from club to D3 to D1. They needed a waiver to be D3 when the rest of the school’s sports were D1.

RJM posted:

Come to think of it the D3 to D1 moves I’m aware of were unique. The college was D1 as a whole. A new sport went from club to D3 to D1. They needed a waiver to be D3 when the rest of the school’s sports were D1.

Yeah back in the old days you could be d3 in one sport and D1 in others. 

Dayton dominated D3 Football. That came to an end in the early 90's. When let's say there were some regularities.

After that you have to be the same division in all sports. Several D3 schools have waivers an were grandfathered in for D1 sports. I believe John's Hopkins is one of those. They are D1 in Lacrosse but D3 in everything else. 

Now Dayton football is in the non-scholarship Pioneer league for Football.

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