Author Topic: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?  (Read 11488 times)

Offline LM3

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Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« on: August 29, 2017, 09:47:55 am »
Hi all,

Help me out -- what might be the compelling reasons for a school to move from D3 to D2? I have not noticed this happening much, and am not up on the reasoning that may drive such a move.

Thanks

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 09:53:19 am »
Delusions of grandeur.   

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 09:56:19 am »
Hi all,

Help me out -- what might be the compelling reasons for a school to move from D3 to D2? I have not noticed this happening much, and am not up on the reasoning that may drive such a move.

Thanks

I've known a few schools moving from NAIA to NCAA who went to d2 when d3 was a much better fit simply because they didn't think they could maintain an athletic program without maintaining scholarships.  In the majority of cases, that was short-sighted, but money is a bit of a blinder.
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Offline jknezek

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 10:06:14 am »
I think there are 4 primary drivers.

1) Kids, and parents, like athletic scholarships. So even if you give them a pittance, which might be less than financial aid from other areas, it becomes an attractive recruiting tool just on bragging rights.

2) There are areas of this country where DIII simply doesn't have the density to create a working conference let alone OOC schedule for sports. Similarly there are areas where that is true of DII. So if you are in one or the other, travel costs may outweigh the cost of small scholarships. This is also true for NAIA.

3) Being with like institutions. For example, most of the Pennsylvania State system exists in DII. Penn State itself is DI, and there are a few DIII's that don't play football, but if you are a football playing Pennsylvania State school, all of your similar institutions are in DII. The opposite is true for the WIAC, which exists in DIII. So sometimes you are just aligning with similar schools for mission and value purposes.

4) There are too many either DIII or DII schools around, making for a very crowded recruiting landscape. So you opt for the other to distinguish yourself and provide an alternative market.

Personally I think for the most part DII makes very little sense. There is very little revenue pick up, and an increase in costs due to scholarships. The big NCAA stats packages that they put out show that on average the revenue does not offset the average costs for DII schools versus DIII. But I think options 2 and 3 make for legitimate business cases. Generally I think 1 and 4 are losers for most schools.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 01:03:13 pm »
Usually I see the reasons as "hey, look at us... we are moving UP!" Then reality hits. I can't think of one DIII that has moved up to DII where it has actually worked out or they have kept their status (whatever their status was). There are a few examples I can think of where the move has been talked about and looked to be happening and hasn't as of yet after years of waiting (Rowan) and others where the move went exactly the opposite how it was "supposed" to work (McMurray). There are several others I have heard are looking into it and others where there are rumors... but for the vast majority of these... that's where these things have ended... at just thoughts and rumors.
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Offline LM3

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 01:20:02 pm »
Thank you all for the input. The 3 to 2 concept did not strike me as very reasonable, but I liked the examples of a few instances where it might.

Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 02:59:23 pm »
Usually I see the reasons as "hey, look at us... we are moving UP!" Then reality hits. I can't think of one DIII that has moved up to DII where it has actually worked out or they have kept their status (whatever their status was). There are a few examples I can think of where the move has been talked about and looked to be happening and hasn't as of yet after years of waiting (Rowan) and others where the move went exactly the opposite how it was "supposed" to work (McMurray). There are several others I have heard are looking into it and others where there are rumors... but for the vast majority of these... that's where these things have ended... at just thoughts and rumors.

Maryville (Mo.), Mississippi College and Lincoln have moved from D-III to D-II in the past decade or so and have stuck. In the 1990s, UC San Diego moved. For Maryville, I'm not sure what their reasoning was. For Lincoln, I think that as a HBU, all of their rivals were in Division II and they couldn't find a conference in Division III. Mississippi College came from Division II ("won" and later vacated a football national title) and returned to it in a part of the country where there isn't a ton of Division III.

This is what might well happen with Thomas More. Everyone is all conferenced up in D-III in that part of the country.
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Online Gregory Sager

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 03:24:42 pm »
The general consensus here among Chicagoland D3 observers is that Benedictine's dalliance with D2 membership is reflective of jknezek's driver #4. Chicagoland is replete with D3 schools, but there's only one D2 institution (Lewis), and, with the demise of St. Joseph's (IN), there's now only one other D2 school within three hours of Chicago (UW-Parkside, up in Kenosha, WI).
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Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 07:45:56 pm »
The general consensus here among Chicagoland D3 observers is that Benedictine's dalliance with D2 membership is reflective of jknezek's driver #4. Chicagoland is replete with D3 schools, but there's only one D2 institution (Lewis), and, with the demise of St. Joseph's (IN), there's now only one other D2 school within three hours of Chicago (UW-Parkside, up in Kenosha, WI).

I would add one more factor that I feel may also be in play at Benedictine and I know has been in play at other places: ego. The right person, whether it is in the athletic administration, in the college administration, or even outside the school (there is one in western Maryland who thinks they can pull the right strings) usually ends up wanting to be the "guy who got it done" on their resume or ego list. I can't explain why, but I can think of a few times when this has happened.
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Offline smedindy

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 12:43:30 am »
When many of the schools up in the NW chose to go to the NCAA, there was a pretty much down the middle split between those that went D2 (who joined the PacWest and then the Great Northwest), and the NWC who moved to D3 a couple of years before. I don't think any school current in either conference is unhappy with their chosen division. The one athletics program in the GNAC that's struggling is St. Martin's, who really has more in common with the NWC schools and would fit in nicely in their footprint (though they don't play football).

A football situation could be developing. Currently the D2 GNAC has only three full-time members that play football (out of 11), and have two affiliate members. They double round robin this year leaving three non-conference games, and they're either pay games or involve lots of travel. CWU has two games against powers Texas A&M - Kingsville and Northern Alabama. There is an NAIA conference up here that plays football (and another that does not offer it).

Simon Fraser is what worries me. They've lost their last 23 games and are 14-57 as an NCAA school in football. Many are nervous what happens if they move back to Canadian Football or quit the sport. Who knows what would happen up here then in regards to football, which then has repercussions to other sports and the conferences.

So in the next few years there could be movement up here outside of the NWC....

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 07:47:15 am »
When many of the schools up in the NW chose to go to the NCAA, there was a pretty much down the middle split between those that went D2 (who joined the PacWest and then the Great Northwest), and the NWC who moved to D3 a couple of years before. I don't think any school current in either conference is unhappy with their chosen division. The one athletics program in the GNAC that's struggling is St. Martin's, who really has more in common with the NWC schools and would fit in nicely in their footprint (though they don't play football).

A football situation could be developing. Currently the D2 GNAC has only three full-time members that play football (out of 11), and have two affiliate members. They double round robin this year leaving three non-conference games, and they're either pay games or involve lots of travel. CWU has two games against powers Texas A&M - Kingsville and Northern Alabama. There is an NAIA conference up here that plays football (and another that does not offer it).

Simon Fraser is what worries me. They've lost their last 23 games and are 14-57 as an NCAA school in football. Many are nervous what happens if they move back to Canadian Football or quit the sport. Who knows what would happen up here then in regards to football, which then has repercussions to other sports and the conferences.

So in the next few years there could be movement up here outside of the NWC....

Northwest Nazarene went D2 from NAIA, joining the GNAC.  They had an offer to get into the NWC, but wanted to keep scholarships, even though d3 and the NWC are a far better fit.  Now, two Presidents later, they'd love to take that opportunity, but word is the NWC is no longer willing to take them without a travel partner.
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Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 10:36:23 am »
The general consensus here among Chicagoland D3 observers is that Benedictine's dalliance with D2 membership is reflective of jknezek's driver #4. Chicagoland is replete with D3 schools, but there's only one D2 institution (Lewis), and, with the demise of St. Joseph's (IN), there's now only one other D2 school within three hours of Chicago (UW-Parkside, up in Kenosha, WI).

I would add one more factor that I feel may also be in play at Benedictine and I know has been in play at other places: ego. The right person, whether it is in the athletic administration, in the college administration, or even outside the school (there is one in western Maryland who thinks they can pull the right strings) usually ends up wanting to be the "guy who got it done" on their resume or ego list. I can't explain why, but I can think of a few times when this has happened.

Isn't that covered under my "delusions of grandeur" comment?   ;D

Similar situation at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.   Three decades ago it was a NAIA-2 school with less than 2K kids; new president came in, made a boatload of changes, went NCAA II and now NCAA I FCS (this is the first year of official NCAA I status) despite not having any facilities suitable for that level (football stadium seats 6K, etc).   The president, after three decades and growing the school to over 10K, 6K at the main campus, was cashiered last year after making offensive comments; it will be interesting to see what happens to the athletic programs there with new leadership. 

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2017, 12:24:04 pm »
Ron - it could be in the same category, though I usually think of "delusions of grandeur" as "the grass is greener" or "someone said this would be a good idea" or "wouldn't it be cool" ... whereas I put the ego element as "look what I did" or "I know this is better" or "imagine what my legacy will look like if" type of thinking. :)
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Offline smedindy

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2017, 12:58:08 pm »
When many of the schools up in the NW chose to go to the NCAA, there was a pretty much down the middle split between those that went D2 (who joined the PacWest and then the Great Northwest), and the NWC who moved to D3 a couple of years before. I don't think any school current in either conference is unhappy with their chosen division. The one athletics program in the GNAC that's struggling is St. Martin's, who really has more in common with the NWC schools and would fit in nicely in their footprint (though they don't play football).

A football situation could be developing. Currently the D2 GNAC has only three full-time members that play football (out of 11), and have two affiliate members. They double round robin this year leaving three non-conference games, and they're either pay games or involve lots of travel. CWU has two games against powers Texas A&M - Kingsville and Northern Alabama. There is an NAIA conference up here that plays football (and another that does not offer it).

Simon Fraser is what worries me. They've lost their last 23 games and are 14-57 as an NCAA school in football. Many are nervous what happens if they move back to Canadian Football or quit the sport. Who knows what would happen up here then in regards to football, which then has repercussions to other sports and the conferences.

So in the next few years there could be movement up here outside of the NWC....

Northwest Nazarene went D2 from NAIA, joining the GNAC.  They had an offer to get into the NWC, but wanted to keep scholarships, even though d3 and the NWC are a far better fit.  Now, two Presidents later, they'd love to take that opportunity, but word is the NWC is no longer willing to take them without a travel partner.

That's interesting, since they're pretty competitive in many sports (unlike St. Martin's). It is out there in Nampa, though, and the closest school is four hours away in the NWC.

The Alaska schools had considered combining for athletics, but the NCAA wouldn't grant that waiver, nor grant a waiver for them to go under the required sport total.

The D2/D3/NAIA calculus out here is a lot different than the Midwest, that's for sure. Frankly, the NWC is sitting pretty, especially in football. Even with L&C's perennial struggles on the field.

As to the big question, why move from D3 to D2? Right now, I think it would only make sense if your peers or aspirant peers are in that division, without a urgent circumstance that would make you switch.

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Compelling reasons to move from D3 to D2?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2017, 02:17:58 pm »
Speaking of D2 ... two days after developing a new "brand identity," the D2 Heartland Conference is losing 8 of its 9 teams to the Lone Star Conference in 2019.  http://lonestarconference.org/news/2017/8/30/general-membership083017.aspx