American Football Database

Main logo used by the NCAA in Division I, II, and III.

Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-I schools are generally the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities, and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III. This level was once called the University Division of the NCAA, in contrast to the College Division; this terminology was replaced with numeric divisions (I, II, III) in 1973.[1] In football only, Division I was further subdivided in 1978 into Division I-A (the principal football schools) and Division I-AA;[2] these were renamed "Football Bowl Subdivision" and "Football Championship Subdivision" in 2006.[3][4] Division I contains 346 institutions. There is a moratorium on any additional movement up to Division I until 2012.

All Division I schools must field athletes in at least seven sports for men and seven for women or six for men and eight for women, with two team sports for each gender.[5] There are several other NCAA sanctioned minimums and differences that distinguish Division I from Divisions II and III.[5]

Scholarship limits by sport

The NCAA imposes limits on the total financial aid each Division I member may award in each sport that the school sponsors. It divides sports that it sponsors into two types for purposes of scholarship limitations:

  • "Head-count" sports, in which the NCAA limits the total number of individuals that can receive athletic scholarships, but allows each player to receive up to a full scholarship.
  • "Equivalency" sports, in which the NCAA limits the total financial aid that a school can offer in a given sport to the equivalent of a set number of full scholarships. Roster limitations may or may not apply, depending on the sport.

The term "counter" is also key to this concept. The NCAA defines a "counter" as "an individual who is receiving institutional financial aid that is countable against the aid limitations in a sport."[6]

The number of scholarships that Division I members may award in each sport is listed below.

Head-count sports

Equivalency sports


  • Baseball – 11.7,[11] with the following additional limitations:
    • A limit of 27 total counters.[11]
    • A requirement that each counter receive athletic aid equal to at least 25% of a full scholarship.[12]
  • FCS football – 63, with limits of 30 initial counters per year and 85 total counters[13]
  • Gymnastics – 6.3[14]
  • Rifle – 3.6[14]
    • Note that the NCAA classifies rifle as a men's sport, despite the fact that competitions are fully coeducational. Most rifle schools have a single coed/mixed team. Some schools have only one single-sex team for either men or women. Some other schools field multiple teams (either two single-sex teams, or a single-sex and a mixed team).
  • Tennis – 5.0[14]
  • Volleyball – 4.5[14]
  • Wrestling – 9.9[14]


  • Bowling – 5[14]
  • Equestrian – 15[14]
  • Field hockey – 12[14]
  • Rowing – 20[14]
  • Rugby – 12[14]
  • Sand volleyball:
    • For schools that also sponsor women's (indoor) volleyball, 3 in 2011–12. The number of scholarship equivalents will increase by 1 each year until reaching a final value of 6 in 2014–15. The number of counters is limited to 14 throughout.[15]
    • For schools that do not sponsor indoor volleyball, 8 scholarships and 14 counters. [16]
  • Softball – 12[14]
  • Squash – 12[14]

Both sexes

Rules for multi-sport athletes

The NCAA also has rules specifying the sport in which multi-sport athletes are to be counted, with the basic rules being:[18]

  • Anyone who participates in football is counted in that sport, even if he does not receive financial aid from the football program. An exception exists for players at non-scholarship FCS programs who receive aid in another sport.[19]
  • Participants in basketball are counted in that sport, unless they also play football.
  • Participants in men's ice hockey are counted in that sport, unless they also play football or basketball.
  • Participants in both men's swimming and diving and men's water polo are counted in swimming and diving, unless they count in football or basketball.
  • Participants in women's volleyball are counted in that sport unless they also play basketball.
  • All other multi-sport athletes are counted in whichever sport the school chooses.


Division I athletic programs generated $8.7 billion in revenue in the 2009-2010 academic year. Men's teams provided 55% of the total, women's teams 15%, and 30% was not categorized by sex or sport. Football and men's basketball are usually the only sports that are profitable for universities, with others usually losing money.[20] The BYU Cougars, for example, in 2009 had revenue of $41 million and expenses of $35 million, resulting in a profit of $5.5 million or about 16% margin. Football (60% of revenue, 53% profit margin) and men's basketball (15% of revenue, 8% profit margin) were profitable; women's basketball (less than 3% of revenue) and all other sports were unprofitable.[21]


Subdivisions in Division I exist only in football.[4][22] In all other sports, all Division I conferences are equivalent. The subdivisions were recently given names to reflect the differing levels of football play in them. Additionally, some sports, most notably ice hockey[23] and men's volleyball, have completely different conference structures that operate outside of the normal NCAA sports conference structure.

The method by which the NCAA determines whether a school is Bowl or Championship subdivision is first by attendance numbers and then by scholarships.[24]

For attendance reporting methods, the NCAA allows schools to report either total tickets sold or the number of persons in attendance at the games. They require a minimum average of 15,000 people in attendance every other year.[24] These numbers get posted to the NCAA statistics website for football each year. With the new rules starting in the 2006 season, the number of Bowl Subdivision schools could drop in the future if those schools are not able to pull in enough fans into the games. Additionally, 8 schools in the Championship subdivision had enough attendance to be moved up in 2005 (although they would need to either compete as independents or join a conference in order to do so).

Football Bowl Subdivision

Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, is the top level of college football, and the only NCAA-sponsored sport without an organized tournament to determine its champion.[25] Schools in Division I FBS compete in post-season bowl games, with the champions of six conferences receiving automatic bids to the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion. This is due to many factors, including that bowl games are sanctioned by the NCAA (primarily in terms of amateurism regulations and guaranteeing a minimum payout to conferences of the participating schools), but are not under its direct administration.

The remaining five conferences, often referred to as "Mid-majors",[26][27] do not receive automatic bids but their conference champions are eligible for an automatic bid if it ranks in the BCS top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of the champion from a conference with an automatic bid. Only one "mid-major" champion can qualify for an automatic bid in any year. The one exception is Notre Dame, which only has to rank in the top eight of the BCS standings to earn an automatic bid to a BCS bowl game.[28]

FBS schools are limited to a total of 85 football players receiving financial assistance.[29] For competitive reasons, a student receiving partial scholarship counts fully against the total of 85. Nearly all FBS schools that are not on NCAA probation give 85 full scholarships.

As of 2012, there are 120 full members of Division I FBS. The most recent addition to FBS was Western Kentucky University, which ended its two-year transition period from Division I FCS in 2008 and became a full FBS member in 2009.[30] In July 2011, four schools began transitions to FBS, starting as FCS members. Under NCAA rules, these schools were ineligible for the FCS playoffs in 2011. In 2012, they will be provisional FBS members without bowl eligibility, with full FBS membership following in 2013.

  • The University of South Alabama, previously an unclassified NCAA football program, played its first fully competitive season in 2011. The Jaguars, already full members of the Sun Belt Conference, will join that conference for football.
  • Texas State University–San Marcos (Texas State), previously an established FCS program in the Southland Conference, will join the Western Athletic Conference in 2012. Despite playing a full Southland Conference schedule in 2011, the Bobcats were classified as an FCS independent for that season.
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), previously a non-football member of the Southland Conference, is playing its first football season in 2011, and will join the WAC alongside Texas State in 2012. The Roadrunners were also classified as an FCS independent for 2011.
  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), a member of the non-football Atlantic 10 Conference and a football member of the Colonial Athletic Association, will join the Mid-American Conference in football only effective in 2012. The team will become eligible for the MAC championship upon attaining full FBS membership in 2013. In 2011, the Minutemen played a full CAA schedule and were technically classified as a CAA member.

Any conference with at least 12 football teams may split its teams into two divisions and conduct a championship game between the division winners.[31][32] The prize is normally a specific bowl game bid for which the conference has a tie-in, or a guaranteed spot in the BCS (depending on the conference).

Some conferences have numbers in their names but this often has no relation to the number of member institutions in the conference. The Big Ten Conference did not formally adopt the "Big Ten" name until 1987, but unofficially used that name when it had 10 members from 1917 to 1946, and again from 1949 forward. However, it has continued to use the name even after it expanded to 11 members with the addition of Penn State in 1990 and 12 with the addition of Nebraska in 2011. The Big 12 Conference was established in 1996 with 12 members, but continues to use that name even after the 2011 departure of Colorado and Nebraska left the conference with 10 members. On the other hand, the Pacific-12 Conference has used names (official or unofficial) that have reflected the number of members since its current charter was established in 1959. The conference unofficially used "Big Five" (1959–62), "Big Six" (1962–64), and "Pacific-8" (1964–68) before officially adopting the "Pacific-8" name. The name duly changed to "Pacific-10" in 1978 with the addition of Arizona and Arizona State, and "Pacific-12" in 2011 when Colorado and Utah joined. Conferences also tend to ignore their regional names when adding new schools. For example, the Pac-8/10/12 retained its "Pacific" moniker even though its four newest members (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah) are located in the inland West, and the Big East kept its name even after adding schools located in areas traditionally considered to be in the Midwest (Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame), Upper South (Louisville, Memphis), Southwest (Houston, SMU) and Far West (Boise State, San Deigo State).


Conference Nickname Founded Members Sports Headquarters
Atlantic Coast Conference ** ACC 1953 12 (14 by July 2014)[FBS 1] 25 Greensboro, North Carolina
Big East Conference ** Big East 1979[FBS 2] 16 (15 by July 2012, 20 by July 2013, 18 by July 2014)[FBS 3][FBS 4][FBS 5] 23 Providence, Rhode Island
Big Ten Conference ** Big Ten 1896 12 25 Park Ridge, Illinois
Big 12 Conference ** Big 12 1996 10 [FBS 6] 21 Irving, Texas
Conference USA C-USA 1995[FBS 7] 12 (to merge with MW in July 2013)[FBS 8][FBS 9][FBS 10] 21 Irving, Texas
Division I FBS Independents[FBS 11] 4 (3 by July 2015)[FBS 12] Newark, New Jersey
Mid-American Conference MAC 1946 12[FBS 13] 23 Cleveland, Ohio
Mountain West Conference MW (official)
MWC (informal)
1999 8 (9 in July 2012; to merge with C-USA in July 2013)[FBS 14][FBS 10] 19 Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pacific-12 Conference ** Pac-12 1915[FBS 15] 12[FBS 16] 22 Walnut Creek, California
Southeastern Conference ** SEC 1932 12 (14 in July 2012)[FBS 17] 20 Birmingham, Alabama
Sun Belt Conference Sun Belt 1976 12 (11 by July 2012)[FBS 18][FBS 19] 19 New Orleans, Louisiana
Western Athletic Conference WAC 1962 8 (10 in July 2012, 11 in July 2013)[FBS 20] 19 Greenwood Village, Colorado

(** BCS Automatic Qualification (AQ) Conferences)

  1. Crowley, Joseph N. (2006). In The Arena: The NCAA's First Century. NCAA Publications. pp. 42.
  2. "What to do with I-AA?". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  3. "College Football Preview, 2008 Bowl Season". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wieberg, Steve (2006-08-03). "NCAA to rename college football subdivisions". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Official Web Site of the NCAA". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  6. "Bylaw 15.02.3 Counter" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 192. Retrieved September 20, 2011. See also Bylaw 15.5.1, pp. 202–204, for a more comprehensive discussion of when an individual becomes a "counter".
  7. "Bylaw Men's Basketball" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  8. "Bylaw Women's Basketball" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  9. "Bylaw Bowl Subdivision Football. (FBS)" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Bylaw 15.5.2 Head-Count Sports Other Than Football and Basketball" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 204. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Bylaw 15.5.4 Baseball Limitations" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  12. "Bylaw Minimum Equivalency Value" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  13. "Bylaw Championship Subdivision Football. (FCSD)" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 "Bylaw Maximum Equivalency Limits" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 205. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  15. "Bylaw Institutions That Sponsor Women's Sand Volleyball and Women's Volleyball" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 209. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  16. "Bylaw Institutions That Sponsor Women's Sand Volleyball but Do Not Sponsor Women's Volleyball" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 209. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  17. "Bylaw 15.5.7 Ice Hockey Limitations" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 209. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  18. "Bylaw 15.5.10 Multi-Sport Participants" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. pp. 210–11. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  19. "Bylaw Championship Subdivision Football Exception. (FCS)" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. pp. 210–11. Retrieved September 20, 2011. This exception refers to Bylaw (pp. 207–08), which in essence describes non-scholarship FCS programs.
  20. Thomas, Katie (2011-04-26). "Gender Games: Answering Questions About Roster Management and Title IX". The New York Times. Retrieved May 01, 2011.
  21. Despain, Joshua (2011-02-17). "BYU sports budget rundown shows what sports profit, cost". Deseret News. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  22. BY BRIAN NIELSEN Sports (2007-09-11). "> Sports > So what's in a college football subdivision name?". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  23. "Conferences". Inside College Hockey. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Football Bowl Subdivision Membership Requirements (pdf file)
  25. "Sports :NCAA Football Tournament: An Imagined Solution to a Real Problem". Meridian Magazine. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  26. "Mid-major conferences use strong schedules to earn at-large bids - College Sports - ESPN". 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  27. "Rise & Fall: Mid-Major Conference Review | College Basketball by". 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  28. "CFB - - FOX Sports on MSN". 2006-02-19. Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  29. "College Football Scholarships. NCAA and NAIA Football Recruiting". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  30. "WKU Football Playing on New FieldTurf Surface - Western Kentucky University Official Athletics Site". 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  31. "An unlikely champ for Big Ten expansion: Paterno | Berry Tramel's Blog". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  32. "Ground Zero East Lansing: Big Ten Roundtable - Antepenultimate edition". 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-19.

Football Championship Subdivision

The Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA, determines its national champion on the field in a 20-team, single-elimination tournament.[1] With the expansion of the tournament field in 2010 from 16 teams to 20, the champions of 10 conferences receive automatic bids, with 10 "at-large" spots; and the top 12 teams receive first-round byes. A team must have at least seven wins to be eligible for an at-large spot.[2][3]

The tournament traditionally begins on Thanksgiving weekend in late November, and during the era of the 16-team field ran for four weeks, ending with the championship game in mid-December. Since 2010, the tournament has run for four weeks (for seeds 13-20) to determine the two finalists, who play for the FCS national title in early January in Frisco, Texas, the scheduled host through the 2012 season. For thirteen seasons, the title game was played in Chattanooga, Tennessee, (1997–2009), preceded by five seasons in Huntington, West Virginia, where host Marshall advanced to the title game in four of the five years.[4]

When I-AA was formed in 1978, the playoffs included just four teams for its first three seasons, doubling to eight teams for one season in 1981. From 1982 to 1985, I-AA had a 12-team tournament, with each of the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye and a home game in the quarterfinals.[5] The I-AA playoffs went to 16 teams in 1986, and the FCS playoffs expanded to 20 teams starting in 2010. After 28 seasons, the "I-AA" was dropped by the NCAA in 2006, although it is still informally and commonly used.


The Football Championship Subdivision includes several conferences which do not participate in the eponymous post-season championship tournament. The Ivy League was lowered to I-AA (FCS) following the 1981 season,[6] and plays a strict ten-game schedule. It has yet to participate in the post-season tournament, despite an automatic bid, citing academic concerns. The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has its own championship game in mid-December between the champions of its East and West divisions. Also, three of its member schools traditionally do not finish their regular seasons until Thanksgiving weekend. Grambling State and Southern play each other in the Bayou Classic, and Alabama State plays Tuskegee University (a Division II team) in the Turkey Day Classic. SWAC teams are eligible to accept at-large bids if their schedule is not in conflict. The last SWAC team to participate in the I-AA playoffs was Jackson State in 1997; the SWAC never achieved success in the tournament, going winless in 19 games in twenty years (1978–97).

From 2006 through 2009, the Pioneer Football League and Northeast Conference champions played in the Gridiron Classic, though all conference teams technically remained tournament eligible. If a league champion was invited to the national championship, the second-place team would play in the Gridiron Classic. That game was scrapped after the 2009 season when its four-year contract ran out; this coincided with the NCAA's announcement that the Northeast Conference would get an automatic bid to the tournament starting in 2010. The Big South Conference also received an automatic bid in the same season.

Schools in a transition period after joining the FCS from a lower division (or from the NAIA) are also ineligible for the playoffs.


Division I FCS schools are currently restricted to giving financial assistance amounting to 63 full scholarships. As FCS football is an "equivalency" sport (as opposed to the "head-count" status of FBS football), Championship Subdivision schools may divide their allotment into partial scholarships. However, FCS schools may only have 85 players receiving any sort of athletic financial aid for football—the same numeric limit as FBS schools. Because of competitive forces, however, a substantial number of players in Championship Subdivision programs are on full scholarships. Another difference is that FCS schools are allowed to award financial aid to as many as 30 new players per season, as opposed to 25 in FBS.

A few Championship Subdivision conferences are composed of schools that offer no athletic scholarships at all, most notably the Ivy League and the Pioneer Football League, a football-only conference. The Ivy League allows no athletic scholarships at all, while the PFL consists of schools that offer scholarships in other sports but choose not to take on the expense of a scholarship football program. The Northeast Conference also sponsored non-scholarship football, but began offering a maximum of 30 full scholarship equivalents in 2006, which grew to 40 in 2011 after a later vote of the league's school presidents and athletic directors. The Patriot League does not currently give football scholarships, but permits them in other sports (athletes receiving these scholarships are ineligible to play football for Patriot League schools). Starting with the class entering in the 2013 season, the Patriot League will allow its members to offer football scholarships; when the transition to scholarship football is complete, member schools will be allowed up to 60 full scholarship equivalents.[7]


Conference Nickname Founded Full Members Sports Headquarters FCS Tournament Bid
Big Sky Conference Big Sky 1963 9 (11 by July 2012)[FCS 1] 15 Ogden, Utah Automatic
Big South Conference Big South 1983 11 (12 by July 2012)[FCS 2] 18 Charlotte, North Carolina Automatic
Colonial Athletic Association CAA 1983[FCS 3] 12[FCS 4] 21 Richmond, Virginia Automatic
Division I FCS Independents [FCS 5] 3 Invitation
Great West Conference Great West 2004[FCS 6] 6 (5 by July 2012, 4 by July 2013)[FCS 7] 16 (15 by 2013) Elmhurst, Illinois Invitation
Ivy League Ivy League 1954 8 33 Princeton, New Jersey Automatic - (Abstains)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference MEAC 1970 13[FCS 8] 15 Virginia Beach, Virginia Automatic
Missouri Valley Football Conference MVFC 1985 9 (10 by July 2012)[FCS 9] 1 St. Louis, Missouri Automatic
Northeast Conference NEC 1981 12[FCS 10] 23 Somerset, New Jersey Automatic
Ohio Valley Conference OVC 1948 11 (12 by July 2012)[FCS 11] 17 Brentwood, Tennessee Automatic
Patriot League Patriot 1986 8[FCS 12] 23 Center Valley, Pennsylvania Automatic
Pioneer Football League PFL 1991 10 1 St. Louis, Missouri Invitation
Southern Conference SoCon 1921 12[FCS 13] 19 Spartanburg, South Carolina Automatic
Southland Conference SLC 1963 12 (10 by July 2012, 11 by July 2013)[FCS 14] 17 Frisco, Texas Automatic
Southwestern Athletic Conference SWAC 1920 10 18 Birmingham, Alabama Abstains

Division I non-football schools

Several Bowl Subdivision and Championship Subdivision conferences have member institutions that do not compete in football. Such schools are sometimes unofficially referred to as I-AAA.[1] For example, the Big East Conference, a Bowl Subdivision conference in football, has five members that discontinued their football programs (DePaul, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, and St. John's), plus an additional two members who play football in Championship Subdivision conferences (Georgetown and Villanova); conference member Notre Dame plays football as a Bowl Subdivision independent.

Bowl Subdivision football independents Army and Navy compete in the Patriot League, a FCS conference, in all other sports.

In addition, some schools officially affiliated with conferences that do not sponsor football do, in fact, field football teams. For example:

The following Division I conferences do not sponsor football. These conferences still compete in Division I for all sports that they sponsor.


Conference Nickname Founded Members Sports Headquarters
America East Conference America East 1979 9 22 Boston, Massachusetts
Atlantic Sun Conference A-Sun 1978 10 [NF 1] 17 Macon, Georgia
Atlantic 10 Conference A-10 1975 14 (13 by July 2013) [NF 2] 21 Newport News, Virginia
Big West Conference Big West 1969 9 (10 by July 2012, 11 by July 2013) 16 Irvine, California
Horizon League Horizon 1979 10 19 Indianapolis, Indiana
Independents [NF 3] Independents 3 (2 by July 2012)[NF 4] Newark, New Jersey
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference MAAC 1980 10 25 Edison, New Jersey
Missouri Valley Conference MVC / Valley 1907 10 19 St. Louis, Missouri
The Summit League The Summit 1982 10 (9 by July 2012)[NF 5] 19 Elmhurst, Illinois
West Coast Conference WCC 1952 9 13 San Bruno, California

Of these, the two that most recently sponsored football were the Atlantic-10 and the MAAC. The A-10 football league dissolved in 2006 with its members going to the Colonial Athletic Association. In addition, four A-10 schools (Dayton, Fordham, Duquesne, and Temple) play football in a conference other than the new CAA, which still includes three full-time A-10 members (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Richmond; only Richmond will remain in 2013). The MAAC stopped sponsoring football in 2007, after most of its members gradually stopped fielding teams.

Other non-football conference schools that sponsor football include six of the Missouri Valley schools (Drake, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, and Southern Illinois) and three of the Horizon League schools (Butler, Valparaiso, and Youngstown State). The Missouri Valley Football Conference is a separate entity from the Missouri Valley Conference, despite sharing a name (from 2008).

Division I in ice hockey

As ice hockey is limited to a much smaller number of almost exclusively Northern schools, there is a completely different conference structure for teams.[1] These conferences feature a mix of teams that play their other sports in various Division I conferences, and even Division II and Division III schools. With the exception of the Ivy League's hockey-playing schools being members of the ECAC, there is no correlation between a team's ice hockey affiliation and its affiliation for other sports. For example, the Hockey East men's conference consists of one ACC school, one Big East school, four schools from America East, one from the A-10, one CAA school, and two schools from the D-II Northeast Ten Conference, whereas the CCHA and WCHA both have some Big Ten representation, plus Division II and III schools. Also, the divisional structure is truncated, with the Division II championship abolished in 1999.

Starting with the 2013-2014 season, Division I men's hockey will experience a major realignment. The Big Ten Conference will become the first regular all-sport Division I conference to sponsor hockey since the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference ceased its sponsorship of the sport in 2003[2], with the remaining members forming Atlantic Hockey. Existing Big Ten schools will withdraw their membership from the WCHA and CCHA.[3] Additionally, six other schools from those conferences are withdrawing to form the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference at the same time,[4] and several other schools are expected to change conferences to replace the schools which are leaving.


Conference Nickname Founded Members (Men/Women)
Atlantic Hockey AHA 1997 12 (12/none)
Central Collegiate Hockey Association CCHA 1972 11 (11/none) (disbanding in July 2013) [H 1]
College Hockey America CHA 1999 4 (none/4) (6 [none/6] in July 2012)[H 2]
ECAC Hockey N/A 1962 12 (12/12)
Hockey East Hockey East 1984 11 (10/8) (12 [11/8] in July 2013)[H 3]
Independents 3 (1/2) (2 [1/1] in July 2012)[H 4]
Western Collegiate Hockey Association WCHA 1951 13 (12/8) (10 [9/8] in July 2013) [H 5]


In the early 21st century, a controversy arose in the NCAA over whether schools will continue to be allowed to have one showcased program in Division I with the remainder of the athletic program in a lower division, as is the case of, notably, Johns Hopkins University lacrosse as well as Colorado College and University of Alabama in Huntsville in ice hockey. This is an especially important issue in hockey, which has no Division II national championship and has several schools whose other athletic programs compete in Division II and Division III.

This controversy was resolved at the 2004 NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee when the members supported Proposal 65-1, the amended legislation co-sponsored by Colorado College, Clarkson University, Hartwick College, the Johns Hopkins University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University-Newark, St. Lawrence University, and SUNY Oneonta.[1][2] Each school affected by this debate is allowed to grant financial aid to student-athletes who compete in Division I programs in one men's sport and one women's sport. It is still permitted for other schools to place one men's and one women's sport in Division I going forward, but they cannot offer scholarships without bringing the whole program into compliance with Division I rules. In addition, schools in Divisions II and III are allowed to "play up" in any sport that does not have a Division II championship, but only Division II programs and any Division III programs covered by the exemption can offer scholarships in those sports.

The Division I programs at each of the eight "waiver schools" which were grandfathered with the passing of Proposal 65-1 were:

See also

  • List of NCAA Division I institutions
  • List of Division I athletic directors
  • List of schools reclassifying their athletic programs to NCAA Division I
  • National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Championship


External links

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Division I (NCAA).
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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