Though Membership Capped, NCAA Division I Grows

July 14, 2009

Kennesaw State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Florida and Utah Valley University have been granted full membership in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. These institutions were already working toward membership when the Division I Board of Directors approved a moratorium on new members in August 2007 and were allowed to continue onward in the process. The moratorium will expire in August 2011, at which point the Board of Directors plans to introduce new, tougher criteria for joining the division. Since the passage of the moratorium, athletic directors and presidents have expressed concern at the division’s ballooning membership, arguing that, with so many conferences, it may soon reach the point at which there would not be enough automatic bids to provide equal access to major championships. On the academic side, some argue that the division’s newest members, generally smaller and less wealthy than long-standing members, might not have the financial resources to guarantee that their students are performing at their best in the classroom as well as on the playing field.

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