This didn’t get much attention last week:
The NCAA has effectively sealed off D-I to new members – and halted any movement between its subdivisions – for a four-year period, according to an announcement made last week. The decision, which became effective immediately, was approved by the Division I Board of Directors, the highest governance body in Division I comprised of 18 campus presidents and chancellors representing the division’s athletic conferences.
Why, you may ask? Methinks that the powers-that-be are getting a little uncomfortable with the number of schools wanting a piece of the March Madness pie.
According to a September 2006 report released by the NCAA, 99 institutions have joined D-I since 1976, 44 since 1990 and six since 2000. There are currently 331 D-I schools, and the new rule won’t affect the 23 schools currently in the process of joining the D-I ranks.
And if football goes down a similar path to basketball? Well, don’t expect easy sailing, even when the moratorium expires.
…Georgia’s Adams said there’s no way to know right now if D-I membership requirements will change when the four-period ends in August 2011, but DiGiorgio said there’s a possibility they could.
“We don’t have goals already determined that we want to get to over the four years,” DiGiorgio said. “I think what we want to do is make sure that Division I remains solid, that if there continues to be a migration process that it’s thoughtful and takes the institution’s best interest into account as well as the interest of conferences and the NCAA. That’s a very complex set of relationships.”
Aside from potential changes in membership requirements, is it possible to foresee what will happen to the D-I landscape at the end of the four-year period?
No, said Adams.