Many students around the world always see Division 1 as the primary goal, however when we ask them the difference they can’t answer it. So below is a break down of Division 1 and Division 2, and the positives of both! Have a good read of this article before making your decision to compete in the college system!
For a college to become a Division 1 member, there are certain requirements which the school must comply with. For example, when a university wants to become a D1 member, they must sponsor seven sports for men and seven sport for women (or six for men and eight for women). Each playing season must be represented by each gender as well. Also there are specific requirements for certain sports, for example in the Football Subdivision teams (highest ranked teams) have to meet minimum attendance requirements (average 15000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game).
For a college to become Division 2 member, instead of sponsoring seven sports for men and women like in Division 1, they have to sponsor at least five sports for men and five for women (or four for men and six for women). There still have to be two team sports for each gender, and each playing season must be represented by each gender. Unlike Division 1 there a less sporting requirements, for example they do not need attendance requirements for football or basketball.
Positives of Division 1
Since there is more money given to NCAA D1 schools there is better scholarship opportunities. Better facilities (Liberty University in West Virginia has just completed a billion-dollar upgrade on its athlete facilities). More money in athletics results in a higher level of coaching staff. Facing strong competition.The best athletes get drawn to the better facilities and bigger schools so you are more likely to compete against better athletes. Treated like a Pro: Some D1 schools even have their own private jets which their athletes travel on. D1 schools also land big clothing contracts with big brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. A great stepping stone to the professional leagues. You need to maintain a good academic profile as you must meet schooling passing rates! Usually have a high Graduation Success Rate (GSR). For example Division I college athletes is now 86 percent – two points over last year and the highest rate ever.
Positives of Division 2
Flexible Eligibility clock: In most sports you can sit out 12 months after finishing high school before starting your 4 years of eligibility. In D1 , in some sports (Tennis) you only have a 6-month grace period before you need to be in a USA college. More relaxed academic requirements; in D1 you need to meet the sliding scale where as in D2 you don’t. Good student to faculty ratio with smaller universities. Better teacher attention in the class room. Very strong competition. Some of the top athletes who may not meet requirements to compete in D1 have to compete in D2. In some sports D2 teams will beat D1 in preseason. Some D2 schools are not as expensive as bigger D1 schools, so therefor if a student has to pay some of their tuition (that is if they do not gain a full scholarship) then the fee is not going to be too excessive. Athletic funding to provide athletic gear for student athletes. High class athletic coaches, usually young coaches with fresh perspectives on training and competing.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, Division 1 and Division 2 are build on structural factors with the NCAA, not solely ability. There are many positives with both divisions, but don’t just look at what they can offer financially. Regardless of division 1 and 2, look at:
When looking for a college we focus on finding the right fit for athletes! Make smart decisions and select a college where you are comfortable and make sure it ticks all the boxes!
Thanks to article author Amrit Rai from Platform Sports Management
Amrit Rai | Director of Platform Sports Management