NCAA Division I

NCAA Division I logo

NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, which accepts players globally. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with large budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.

This level was previously called the University Division of the NCAA, in contrast to the lower-level College Division; these terms were replaced with numeric divisions in 1973. The University Division was renamed Division I, while the College Division was split in two; the College Division members that offered scholarships or wanted to compete against those who did became Division II, while those who did not want to offer scholarships became Division III.[1]

For college football only, D-I schools are further divided into the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and those institutions that do not have any football program. FBS teams have higher game attendance requirements and more players receiving athletic scholarships than FCS teams. The FBS is named for its series of postseason bowl games, with various polls ranking teams after the conclusion of these games, while the FCS national champion is determined by a multi-team bracket tournament.

For the 2020–21 school year, Division I contained 357 of the NCAA's 1,066 member institutions, with 130 in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), 127 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and 100 non-football schools, with six additional schools in the transition from Division II to Division I.[2][3] There was a moratorium on any additional movement up to D-I until 2012, after which any school that wants to move to D-I must be accepted for membership by a conference and show the NCAA it has the financial ability to support a D-I program.

  1. ^ Crowley, Joseph N. (2006). In The Arena: The NCAA's First Century. NCAA Publications. p. 42. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  2. ^ "Composition and Sport Sponsorship of the NCAA Membership". NCAA. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "Multidivision and Reclassifying for 2014-15" (PDF). NCAA. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.

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