NCAA Division III

Division III (D-III) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-III consists of athletic programs at colleges and universities that choose not to offer athletic scholarships to their student-athletes.

The NCAA's first split was into two divisions, the University and College Divisions, in 1956. The College Division was formed for smaller schools that did not have the resources of the major athletic programs across the country. The College Division split again in 1973 when the NCAA went to its current naming convention: Division I, Division II, and Division III. Division III schools are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships, while D-II schools can.

Division III is the NCAA's largest division with around 450 member institutions, which are 80% private and 20% public. The median undergraduate enrollment of D-III schools is about 2,750, although the range is from 418 to over 38,000. Approximately 40% of all NCAA student-athletes compete in D-III.[1]

NCAA logo
Main logo used by the NCAA.

Requirements

Division III institutions must sponsor at least five sports for men and five for women, with two team sports for each gender, and each playing season represented by each gender. There are minimum contest rules and participant minimums for each sport. Division III athletic programs are non-revenue-generating, extracurricular programs that are staffed and funded like any other university department. They feature student-athletes who receive no financial aid related to their athletic ability.[2] Student-athletes cannot redshirt as freshmen,[3][4][5] and schools may not use endowments or funds whose primary purpose is to benefit athletic programs.[6]

Division III schools "shall not award financial aid to any student on the basis of athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance".[7] 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."[8] The ban on scholarships is strictly enforced. As an example of how seriously the NCAA takes this rule, in 2005 MacMurray College became only the fifth school slapped with a "death penalty" after its men's tennis program gave grants to foreign-born players.[9] The two service academies that are D-III members, Merchant Marine and Coast Guard, do not violate the athletic scholarship ban because all students, whether or not they are varsity athletes, receive the same treatment, a full scholarship.

Another aspect that distinguishes Division III from the other NCAA divisions is that D-III institutions are specifically banned from using the National Letter of Intent, or any other pre-enrollment form that is not executed by other prospective students at the school. The NCAA provides for one exception—a standard, nonbinding celebratory signing form that may be signed by the student upon his or her acceptance of enrollment. However, this form cannot be signed at the campus of that college, and staff members of that college cannot be present at the signing.[10]

Conferences

All-sports conferences

An "all-sports" conference is defined here as one that sponsors both men's and women's basketball. Conferences that sponsor football are marked with an asterisk (*).

  1. ^ The Commonwealth Coast Conference does not sponsor football, but operates the single-sport Commonwealth Coast Football.
  2. ^ The Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC) is an umbrella organization that operates three separate leagues. Two of these, the MAC Commonwealth and MAC Freedom, sponsor competition in the same set of 14 sports, including men's and women's basketball, but not football. The third league, known as the Middle Atlantic Conference (singular), sponsors competition in football and 12 other sports.

Single-sport conferences

Football
Ice hockey
Lacrosse
Men's volleyball

Independents

Division III schools with Division I programs

Ten D-III schools currently field Division I programs in one or two sports, one maximum for each gender.

Five of them are grandfathered schools that have traditionally competed at the highest level of a particular men's sport prior to the institution of the three division classifications in 1973, a decade before the NCAA governed women's sports. Presumably due to Title IX considerations, grandfathered schools are also allowed to field one women's sport in Division I, and all five schools choose to do so. These schools are allowed to offer athletic scholarships in their Division I men's and women's sports only.[11]

Three formerly grandfathered schools moved completely to Division III. The State University of New York at Oneonta, which had been grandfathered in men's soccer, moved totally to Division III in 2006. Rutgers University–Newark, which had been grandfathered in men's volleyball, did the same in 2014.[12] Hartwick College, which had been grandfathered in men's soccer and women's water polo, moved its men's soccer program to Division III in 2018 and dropped women's water polo entirely.[13]

The other five schools choose to field Division I programs in one sport for men and/or 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, as is the case for all of Division III.

In addition, Lawrence University was formerly a non-grandfathered program in fencing, but the NCAA no longer conducts a separate Division I fencing championship. Lawrence continues to field a fencing team, but that team is now considered Division III (see below).

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 I schools playing Division III football were forced to bring their football programs into Division I. This led directly to the creation of the Pioneer Football League, a non-scholarship football-only Division I FCS conference.

In August 2011, the NCAA decided to no longer allow individual programs to move to another division as a general policy. One exception was made in 2012, when RIT successfully argued for a one-time opportunity for colleges with a D-I men's team to add a women's team.[14]

Division III schools playing in non-divisional sports

In addition to the D-III schools with teams that play as Division I members, many other D-III schools have teams that compete alongside D-I and D-II members in sports that the NCAA does not split into divisions. Teams in these sports are not counted as playing in a different division from the rest of the athletic program. D-III members cannot award scholarships in these sports.

Reforms

In 2003, concerned about the disparity of some D-III athletic programs and the focus on national championships, the Division III Presidents' Council, led by Middlebury College President John McCardell, proposed ending the athletic scholarship exemptions for D-I programs, eliminating redshirting, and limiting the length of the traditional and non-traditional seasons.[15] At the January 2004 NCAA convention, an amendment allowed the exemption for grandfathered D-I athletic scholarships to remain in place, but the rest of the reforms passed.[16]

Football

There is a 32-team playoff system for a national championship, the Stagg Bowl, which has been held in Salem, Virginia, since 1993.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Division III Facts and Figures" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Divisional Differences and the History of Multidivision Classification". NCAA. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  3. ^ NCAA. "Bylaw 14.2.4.1 Minimum Amount of Participation" (PDF). 2012–13 NCAA Division III Manual. p. 93. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  4. ^ Under Bylaw 14.2.4.1, a Division III athlete uses a year of eligibility by either practicing with or playing on a team. This differs from the rules for Divisions I and II, in which only playing on a team counts as participation.
  5. ^ The so-called medical redshirt, officially known as a hardship waiver, is covered by a different NCAA bylaw—specifically Bylaw 14.2.5 (p. 96, 2012–13 NCAA Division III Manual).
  6. ^ "Bylaw 15.01.5 Student-Athlete Financial Aid Endowments or Funds" (PDF). 2012–13 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. p. 107. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  7. ^ "Bylaw 15.01.3 Institutional Financial Aid" (PDF). 2012–13 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. p. 107. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Bylaw 15.4.1 Consistent Financial Aid Package" (PDF). 2012–13 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. p. 110. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  9. ^ "LSDBi". ncaa.org.
  10. ^ "Bylaw 13.9.1 Letter-of-intent Prohibition" (PDF). 2018–19 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. pp. 80–81. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Wodon, Adam (January 12, 2004). "Scholarships Will Continue For D-III 'Play Up' Schools". USCHO.com.
  12. ^ "Transitioning Scarlet Raiders Join CVC" (Press release). Rutgers–Newark Athletics. March 13, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  13. ^ Kennedy, Paul (February 28, 2018). "Hartwick to downgrade men's soccer, making it a Division III sport". Soccer America. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "RIT's push for NCAA legislative change opens the door for women to move to Division I". USCHO.com.
  15. ^ Pennington, Bill (May 25, 2003). "Playing for Victory, Or Simply to Play? Colleges Are Split". New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  16. ^ "NCAA Division III Defeats Effort To Repeal Waiver". Clarkson University. January 12, 2004. Retrieved 26 November 2017.

External links

1977 NCAA Division III football season

The 1977 NCAA Division III football season -- part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level -- began in August 1977, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship in December 1977 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama. The Widener Pioneers won their first Division III championship, defeating the Wabash Little Giants by a final score of 39−36.

1979 NCAA Division III football season

The 1979 NCAA Division III football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level, began in August 1979, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship in December 1979 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama. The Ithaca Bombers won their first Division III championship, defeating the Wittenberg Tigers by a final score of 14−10 in a re-match of the 1975 championship (won by Wittenberg).

1981 NCAA Division III football season

The 1981 NCAA Division III football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level, began in August 1981, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship in December 1981 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama. The Widener Pioneers won their second Division III championship, defeating the defending national champion Dayton Flyers by a final score of 17−10.

1983 NCAA Division III football season

The 1983 NCAA Division III football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level, began in August 1983, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1983 at Galbreath Field in Kings Island, Mason, Ohio. The Augustana (IL) Vikings won their first of four consecutive Division III championships by defeating the Union Dutchmen by a final score of 21−17.

1986 NCAA Division III football season

The 1986 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1986, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1986 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama. The Augustana (IL) Vikings won the fourth of their four consecutive Division III championships by defeating the Salisbury State Sea Gulls by a final score of 31−3.

1987 NCAA Division III football season

The 1987 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1987, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1987 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama.

Wagner won their first Division III championship by defeating Dayton in the championship game, 19−3. Due to NCAA rule changes in 1991, both schools are now members Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA).

1988 NCAA Division III football season

The 1988 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1988, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1988 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama. The Ithaca Bombers won their third Division III championship by defeating the Central (IA) Dutch, 39−24.

1989 NCAA Division III football season

The 1989 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1989, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1989 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama. The Dayton Flyers won their second Division III championship by defeating the Union (NY) Dutchmen, 17−7.

1990 NCAA Division III football season

The 1990 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1990, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1990 at Hawkins Stadium in Bradenton, Florida. The Allegheny Gators won their first Division III championship by defeating the Lycoming Warriors, 21−14, in overtime.

1991 NCAA Division III football season

The 1991 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1991, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1991 at Hawkins Stadium in Bradenton, Florida. The Ithaca Bombers won their third Division III championship by defeating the Dayton Flyers, 34−20.

1992 NCAA Division III football season

The 1992 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1992, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1992 at Hawkins Stadium in Bradenton, Florida. The Wisconsin–La Crosse Eagles won their first Division III championship by defeating the Washington & Jefferson Presidents, 16−12.

1999 NCAA Division III football season

The 1999 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1999, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1999 at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia. The Pacific Lutheran Lutes won their first Division III championship by defeating the Rowan Profs, 42−13.

The Gagliardi Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in Division III football, was awarded to Danny Ragsdale, quarterback from Redlands.

2009 NCAA Division III football season

The 2009 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 2009, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 2009 at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia. The Wisconsin–Whitewater Warhawks won their second Division III championship by defeating the Mount Union Purple Raiders, 38−28. This was the fifth of seven straight championship games between Mount Union (3 wins) and Wisconsin–Whitewater (4 wins).

The Gagliardi Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in Division III football, was awarded to Blaine Westemeyer, offensive tackle from Augustana (IL).

2012 NCAA Division III football season

The 2012 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 2012, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 2012 at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia. The Mount Union Purple Raiders won their eleventh Division III championship by defeating the St. Thomas (MN) Tommies, 28−10.

The Gagliardi Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in Division III football, was awarded to Scottie Williams, running back from Elmhurst (IL).

2014 NCAA Division III football season

The 2014 NCAA Division III football season, play of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level, was the most recent season of NCAA Division III football. The season began on September 4 and concluded on December 19 with title game of the NCAA Division III Football Championship. Wisconsin–Whitewater won their sixth Division III title with a 43–34 win over Mount Union at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia. This was the ninth time in ten seasons that Mount Union and Wisconsin–Whitewater met in the title game.

NCAA Division III Football Championship

The NCAA Division III Football Championship began in 1973. Before 1973, most of the schools now in Division III competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).The Division III playoffs begin with 32 teams selected to participate in the playoffs. The Division III championship game, known as the Stagg Bowl (named after Amos Alonzo Stagg), will be held at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas in 2018 and 2019. The game had previously been played at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia (1993–2017), at Hawkins Stadium in Bradenton, Florida (1990–1992), Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama (1973–1982, 1985–1989), and at Galbreath Field at the College Football Hall of Fame, when the Hall was located in Kings Island, Ohio (1983–1984).

Mary Hardin–Baylor defeated Mount Union to win the 2018 season championship.

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament

The NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship is an annual tournament to determine NCAA Division III national champion.

From 1996 to 2012, 2014 to 2018, the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship was held at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia. The event had been hosted by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the City of Salem. Since 2017, the tournament is a 64-team single-elimination tournament, with teams advancing from four regionals to the semifinals and final in Fort Wayne.

For 2013, as part of the celebration of the 75th NCAA Division I tournament, the championship games in both the Division II and Division III NCAA tournaments were played at Philips Arena in Atlanta. From 2014 to 2018, the final game returned to Salem. Fort Wayne, Indiana is the Final 4 site & the venue is Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh is the reigning national champions.

NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament

The NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship is the annual tournament to determine the national champions of women's NCAA Division III collegiate basketball in the United States. It has been held annually since 1982 when the NCAA began to sponsor women's sports at all three levels.

Washington–St. Louis is the most successful program with five national titles. The current champion is Amherst, which won its second straight national title and third overall in 2018.

NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship

The NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship is an American intercollegiate college soccer tournament conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to determine the Division III national champion. It has been held annually since 1986 when the Division III championship was established for universities that do not award athletics scholarships. A third Division II championship was added in 1988.

Traditionally, the tournament is held in November and December of each year following the end of the regular season. Originally, the tournament finals were held on the campus of one of the teams participating in the semifinals. Since 2004, however, it has been held a pre-determined neutral site.

The most successful program has been Messiah, with five national titles.

The current champions are Williams, who won their third national title in 2018.

NCAA
Division I
Division II
Division III
Single-division sports
and championships

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