Division III

From Academic Kids

Division III consists of institutions who recognize that collegiate athletics can be an integral part of the educational process. The emphasis of the division is on the participant on the various teams, not on the spectators. Members seek to strike a balance between the academic requirements of their institution and the opportunity to compete at the highest level of sport. With over 420 member institutions DIII is the largest of the three divisions sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States.

A defining characteristic of DIII is that schools are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships. DIII schools, range in size from less than 500 to over 10,000 students. Many highly selective institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University and the members of the University Athletic Association ("The Nerdy Nine"), participate in Division III to demonstrate a commitment to academics over athletics.

Eight D-3 schools do currently offer scholarships in a capacity as grandfathered schools which traditionally participated in the highest levels of single sports prior to the tiering of schools into divisions. These teams compete at the Division I level, while the remainder of their athletic program remains D-3. They are Clarkson University (men's and women's ice hockey), Colorado College (men's ice hockey and women's soccer), Hartwick College (men's soccer, women's water polo), Johns Hopkins University (men's and women's lacrosse), College at Oneonta (men's soccer), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (men's ice hockey and adding scholarships in women's ice hockey in 2005), Rutgers at Newark (men's volleyball), and St. Lawrence University (men's and women's ice hockey). Each school has the right to offer scholarships in one men's and one women's sport. These schools prefer to enjoy the characteristics of having a small, academically focused athletic program while maintaining competitive ability in their premier sport(s).

In 2003, concerned about the direction of the Division and its adherance to its philosophical basis, 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 so-called "red-shirting", 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 athletics scholarships was rejected, though legislation limiting the exception to only those schools currently offering DI programs was approved. These actions took place at the January 2004 NCAA Convention. -- 14:47, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC) Template:US-stub


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