Future of Division III

Started by Ralph Turner, October 10, 2005, 07:27:51 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Ralph Turner

D-3 Monthly Newsletter features Future of D-III and Proposed Legislation for the January 2006 National Convention.

The proposal caps the playoffs at 32 games for football and 64 for all other sports when the 1:6.5 ratio is reached.

There is also a proposal for conference realignment without loss of the Pool A from 1Aug 08 to 1Aug 10 after a 2-yr Self-Study from 1Aug06 to 1 Aug 08.


Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

Thanks Ralph, that's a very interesting proposal.  I think ultimatetly it will be good for d3 sports, however, it seems like the NCAA lacks the ability to really enforce something like that.  It would ideally be great to realign the conferences and ensure that academic requirements are uniform, but is it a realistic option?

What are your thoughts?
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Ralph Turner

Hoops fan, I don't know which conferences are interested in re-aligning.  There have been several conferences formed in the northeast and Atlantic seaboard to access the AQ, which I think is great!!!  (Playing for a conference championship is much of what it is all about!)  Some of the "new" conferences in the area relative to the playoffs include the North Atlantic Conference, North Eastern AC, the Allegheny Mountain CC and the Atlantic Women's CC. 

If the ASC could re-align into some variation of the Middle Atlantic Corporation (MAC) for the sake of AQ's, I would love it. The ASC has enough teams for basketball but not enough for the other sports to make 2 full AQ conferences, especially with Austin College going to the SCAC.  (In the era of the AQ, the ASC-East has never received a Pool A or Pool C bid in women's hoops.) 

I speculate that the new Lake Michigan-NIIC will try to use
the legislation in their discussions.

Would the UAA use the legislation to add affiliates (from the NCAC?) to earn a football AQ?

Are there conferences in the Northeast Region that need to realign geographically in consideration of all sports?

What about the conferences in the East region realigning for football AQ sake?

Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

Football will never be big enough in the NE to force any sort of realignment.  I think the current line-ups (LEC, CCC, NEWMAC) mesh well in terms of overall makeup of the schools.  The LEC is mostly State schools, the CCC is mostly private schools with slightly higher academic bents and the NEWMAC is a wealthier, higher-profile version of the CCC.  The MASCAC is pretty cohesive, totally uncompetitive in basketball, but really nice in other sports.

I could see a lot of positives in the NAC and the GNAC trading some schools, probably better philosophical fits as well as for geographic considerations.  Honestly, I can't see there being much shake-up in the NE region.

Really, the NCAA should spend its time figuring out a better way to classify regions instead of realigning the individual conferences.
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Ralph Turner

Hoops fan, please email me off line.  I was not able to send an email to your nyironhorse  yahoo email.



Ralph,   As you are probably aware, UAA and NCAC have a joint scheduling agreement for 08 and 09, mostly along geographic lines.  I have wondered if this could lead to 2 7-team conferences for football NC-U Football Alliance East and West akin to the MAC model you suggest.  The 4 UAA teams could still play for their own championship, but a playoff worthy team could have a shot at AQ.  NCAC teams could save in travel.
Think beyond the possible.
Compete, Win, Respect, Unite

Ralph Turner

CWRU70, as I understand the bylaws now, the UAA could qualify for a football AQ if they added 3 affiliates who would compete for the title in the UAA, just as Catholic competes for and won the ODAC title back in 1999.

Surely the UAA could find 3 affiliates from the NCAC to whom they would send an invitation. :)


Unfortunately, the agreed schedule doesn't provide 3 common opponents, and the 7-game NCAC sched wouldn't let a team compete for both titles.  Would OWU, Denison, and Kenyon switch (teams in the geographic middle)? If OWU joined UAA and stayed in a now 8 team NCAC playing 6 games, not a full round robin, it could be eligible for both.   Arguably OWU would have won the title of that reconfigured UAA last year, but that weakens the NCAC and still leaves UAA as a lower tier conference.  Under my idea Witt and Woo would have won the 2 conferences last year and had AQs.

If CWRU could schedule Allegheny in 08 and 09 (and week 2 is open for each) it would have 7 NCAC opponents and could compete for title (again) and AQ.
Think beyond the possible.
Compete, Win, Respect, Unite


I don't think those three teams listed would switch to the UAA.

Ralph Turner

I am sorry that I am not smart enough to see benefits of the system that I am recommending being replaced by mine. :)

I am certain that there are 3 NCAC schools who would appreciate competing in the UAA for a (better) chance at the AQ as a football affiliate than they have now.

I also am certain that there are 3 schools whom the UAA would like to add as affiliates to get a bid in a sport where they have not had one since 1999.

Two 7-member conferences would have 4 non-conference games to use to keep rivalries.  The net effect is that Pool B gets 4 more schools in its numerator and Pool A keeps 3 more schools in its numerator for the playoff allocation ratio and about one-half more bid in Pool C.


Ralph, I don't think I'm smart enough to get the import of your first sentence 9perhaps it's the 2 nots) and I know I'm not smart enough to figure out the pool consequences.  It seems to me that my idea is easier to attain given the current scheduling.  And I would hope that decisions would be driven by seeking better overall competition rather than an easier path to an over-matched play-off game.  The UAA teams playing NCAC teams make it more likely that the champ would get a bid than with current schedules.  I look at WUStL ambitious scheduling (Mt U, Bash, W&J) as looking for better competition to boost play-off chances.

Smedindy, do you see any 3 that would switch?
Think beyond the possible.
Compete, Win, Respect, Unite

Ralph Turner

Good catch, CWRU70!  Since corrected...it did read obtusely!

I was presuming a simple premise that I (the UAA) want to (1) get the Pool A bid and (2) make certain that I have enough quality opponents (mission and vision included) as conferences start to expand and Pool B "at-larges"/independents join them.

If I choose Kenyon, I make sure that they understand it is football and not swimming. ;)

I ask Hiram and Oberlin thinking that it would be nice not "to have to" play Wabash Woo and Witt, all three in the same year.  Oberlin had a nice run in 2003 and another nice run just might win a UAA championship.

(I know nothing of the politics, "Mission and Vision", old rivalries, etc., but that what I was not smart enough to know.) :)


I just caught this from a recent issue of the NCAA news about the total NCAA membership, and the numbers of members across all levels.

NCAA membership totals
(September 1, 2005)

Division I
   I-A    I-AA    I-AAA    Total
Active    117    118    91    326
Provisional    0    0    1    1


conference -- 11 -- 12 -- 9 -- 32


conference -- 0 -- 2 -- 18 -- 20

Division II

-- Total

Active -- 282

Provisional -- 8

Voting conference -- 22

Nonvoting conference -- 2

Exploratory member -- 10

Division III


Active -- 419

Provisional -- 18

Voting conference -- 44

Nonvoting conference -- 15

Exploratory member -- 18


Division I -- 326

Division II -- 282

Division III -- 419

Provisional -- 27

Exploratory member -- 28

Voting conference -- 98

Nonvoting conference -- 37

Corresponding -- 14

Affiliated -- 71

TOTAL -- 1,303

Some of the trends here should be analyzed, as it appears that in the next 10 years, D3 will get bigger while D2 will approximately stay the same, given the inputs and number of schools reclassifying to D1.
SJU Champions 2003 NCAA D3, 1976 NCAA D3, 1965 NAIA, 1963 NAIA; SJU 2nd Place 2000 NCAA D3; SJU MIAC Champions 2018, 2014, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1991, 1989, 1985, 1982, 1979, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1971, 1965, 1963, 1962, 1953, 1938, 1936, 1935, 1932


Ralph - The 'mission and vision' thing is the reason that I don't think Oberlin, Denison, etc. will jump. That and they are getting better.

OWU is a member of the 'big 5' of the NCAC and no way they'd go to the UAA.

Kenyon is on the uptick, as the game against Wooster demonstrated.

Earlham didn't even agree to play ANY UAA teams.

Oberlin is going to get better. In seeing them this past weekend, they are a year away from being a team that could go 6-4.

Denison has also improved over the past few years.

Sure, these programs are still a ways away from Witt and Wabash, but they're getting closer. A few years ago, many of these schools were at their nadir, and they're a lot better than that now.

I think Hiram would be the only one who may want to go to the UAA, but even they got a win this year.

David Collinge

The "mission and vision" thing is what the NCAC is all about.  The ten schools of the NCAC reflect a common philosophy of the role of athletics in the academic setting.  I realize that this is how D3 is defined as a whole, but I believe that it is the NCAC (along with the NESCAC and UAA) that is the least satisfied with D3 and has contemplated a "D4" that even further de-emphasizes sports as part of the collegiate experience.  Many, many posters know more about this than I (especially you, Ralph), and  I hope I am not mischaracterizing the situation.  But the botom line is that the NCAC exists as a conference of Ohio (or nearby) liberal arts colleges of similar academic mission and selectivity that have an attitude about the importance of sports that is not entirely shared by their neighbors.

Based on that alone, it would seem logical that the NCAC and UAA join forces; and in some degree they have (witness the football scheduling.)  But, as has often been discussed in these fora, the UAA is a horse of a completely different color.  The UAA schools share an academic philosophy that very few other D3 schools share (perhaps limited to CalTech and Johns Hopkins): the national research-oriented university.  The NCAC member schools are small, private, liberal arts, undergraduate-oriented colleges and universities, and as such do not fit within the UAA's "mission and vision."  The NCAC schools have a lot more in common with the NESCAC than with the UAA.

In other words, I don't think any NCAC school would be interested in leaving the conference, and I don't think the UAA would be interested in having any of the NCAC schools join their conference.  (Of course, one NCAC charter member school--Case Western Reserve--did in fact move from the NCAC to the UAA.  But Case's academic mission fits with the UAA and is significantly different from that of the NCAC.)

I also don't think that the NCAC would be interested in allowing some of its members to re-affiliate in just football, and remain NCAC members in the other sports.  The NCAC is an all-sports conference which offers 11 championships for each gender.  The whole idea of a member school leaving the conference in one sport simply to enhance their chances of success at that sport is contrary to the entire philosophy of the conference.   The NCAC is schools that get together to play sports, not an affiliation of sports teams.

Considering how strong and unified the NCAC is, I am continually surprised when I run across suggestions that Hiram go here or Allegheny go there or Oberlin go thither.  Suffice it to say I will be exceedingly surprised if any of the 10 member schools leaves the conference anytime soon.