The NCAA University Division was a historic subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) consisting of member schools competing at the highest level of college sports. The University Division was first established as a basis for determining eligibility to participate in the 1957 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament. It was replaced in 1973 with the creation of the NCAA Division I.
The University Division began for purposes of college basketball. In August 1956, NCAA executive director Walter Byers announced that, starting in 1957, the NCAA would hold separate basketball tournaments for major schools and smaller colleges. Approximately 156 major schools competing in the "University Division" would compete for 24 spots in the University Division tournament, while 285 smaller schools in the "College Division" would compete for 32 spots in a separate tournament.
From its inception, the University Division included all member schools in NCAA-allied conferences, and champions of those conferences automatically qualified to participate in the NCAA University Division basketball tournament. The original allied conferences were the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Seven Conference, the Big Ten Conference, the Border Conference, the Ivy League, the Metropolitan New York Conference, the Mid-American Conference, the Missouri Valley Conference, the Mountain States Conference, the Ohio Valley Conference, the Pacific Coast Conference, the Southeastern Conference, the Southern Conference, the Southwest Conference, and the West Coast Athletic Conference.
The first separate "University Division" basketball tournament was held in March 1957.
By December 1957, the ranks of the University Division expanded to 179 universities and colleges.
While the University Division was initially created as a basis for determining eligibility for the basketball tournament, the concept was eventually extended to college football as well. In 1962, 140 major college football teams were recognized as being part of the "University Division" for purposes of football. Another 370 schools were placed in the "College Division".
In 1963, the NCAA began holding regional football championships within the College Division. At that time, 120 of the 419 NCAA football programs were classified as being part of the University Division.
Classification into the University Division for purposes of basketball was broader and included more schools than for purposes of football.For purposes of football, and unlike basketball, classification into the University Division was not automatic based on conference membership.
For purposes of football, the ranks of the University Division evolved from year to year. Promotion of football programs to the University Division Annual was determined in earlier years by members of the American Football Writers Association,and in later years by an NCAA sanctioning committee. Annual changes in the University Division football membership include the following:
The Southern Conference (SoCon) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Southern Conference football teams compete in the Football Championship Subdivision. Member institutions are located in the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The Big West Conference (BWC) is an American collegiate athletic conference whose member institutions participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The conference was originally formed on July 1, 1969 as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA), and in 1988 was renamed the Big West Conference. The conference stopped sponsoring college football after the 2000 season.
NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, which accepts players globally. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.
The Houston Cougars are the athletic teams representing the University of Houston. Informally, the Houston Cougars have also been referred to as the Coogs, UH, or simply Houston. Houston's nickname was suggested by early physical education instructor of the university and former head football coach, John R. Bender after one of his former teams, Washington State later adopted the mascot and nickname. The teams compete in the NCAA's Division I and the Football Bowl Subdivision as members of the American Athletic Conference.
The Boston College Eagles are the athletic teams that represent Boston College, located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level, primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
The Pittsburgh Panthers, commonly also referred to as the Pitt Panthers, are the athletic teams representing the University of Pittsburgh, although the term is colloquially used to refer to other aspects of the university such as alumni, faculty, and students. Pitt fields 19 university-sponsored varsity teams at the highest level of competitive collegiate athletics in the United States: the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for American football.
The Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) was a college athletic conference in the United States which existed from 1915 to 1959. Though the Pac-12 Conference claims the PCC's history as part of its own, with eight of the ten PCC members now in the Pac-12, the older league had a completely different charter and was disbanded in 1959 due to a major crisis and scandal.
The Arizona Wildcats are the athletic teams that represent the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. The Wildcats compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona's chief intercollegiate rival is the Arizona State Sun Devils, and the two universities' athletic departments compete against each other in multiple sports via the State Farm Territorial Cup Series.
The Western Michigan Broncos are a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I program representing Western Michigan University (WMU) in college athletics. They compete in the Mid-American Conference in men's baseball, basketball, football, soccer and tennis; and women's basketball, cross-country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball. The men's ice hockey team competes in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Broncos also have a flight team, the SkyBroncos, who have won the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) National Championship award five times.
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are the intercollegiate athletic teams who represent the University of California, Santa Barbara. Referred to in athletic competition as UC Santa Barbara or UCSB, the Gauchos participate in 19 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports with the majority competing in the Big West Conference. UCSB currently fields varsity teams in 10 men's sports and 9 women's sports.
The Wichita State Shockers are the athletic teams that represent Wichita State University. They compete in the NCAA Division I as members of the American Athletic Conference.
The Denver Pioneers are the sports teams of the University of Denver (DU). They play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Denver is a member of The Summit League for men's and women's basketball, swimming and diving, men's and women's soccer, tennis and golf for both men and women, plus women's volleyball. Other DU teams play in various conferences in the sports that are not sponsored by The Summit. The men's ice hockey team is a charter member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), which formed in 2011 with play beginning in 2013. The lacrosse teams for men and women are members of the Big East Conference; the men began Big East play in the 2013–14 school year, while the women left the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) after the 2016 lacrosse season. Men's and women's skiing compete in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, while the women's gymnastics team became an affiliate of the Big 12 Conference starting with the 2015–16 season.
The NCAA College Division was a historic subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) consisting of member schools competing at a lower level of college sports. The NCAA initially divided schools into a College Division and a University Division. The College Division was split into two smaller groups in 1973 with the creation of NCAA Division II, which allows its members to award limited athletic scholarships, and Division III, which prohibits athletic scholarships.
The Lamar Cardinals and Lady Cardinals refers to the college athletics teams of Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas. The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals teams compete in all seventeen NCAA Division I sports sponsored by the Southland Conference through the 2020–21 school year, after which Lamar will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
The Evansville Purple Aces are the intercollegiate sports teams and players of the University of Evansville, located in Evansville, Indiana, United States. The Aces athletic program is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and competes at the NCAA's Division I level. Evansville's mascot is Ace Purple, and the school colors are purple, white and orange.
The Jacksonville Dolphins are the intercollegiate athletics teams that represent Jacksonville University, located in Jacksonville, Florida. The Dolphins participate in NCAA Division I athletics, and are primarily members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN). Some teams in sports that are not sponsored by the ASUN play in other conferences. The men's lacrosse team is a member of the Southern Conference, and the men's and women's rowing teams are in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Florida A&M Rattlers football team represents Florida A&M University in the sport of American football. The Rattlers compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the south division of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). They play their home games at Bragg Memorial Stadium in Tallahassee. The Rattlers have won 15 black college football national championship, 29 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) titles, eight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles and one I-AA national title in the history of their football program. During the 2004 season, the Rattlers briefly attempted to move up to Division I-A and become the only HBCU at college football's highest level, but the team was forced to abort its bid.
The New Hampshire Wildcats football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the University of New Hampshire located in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The Wildcats compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The team plays its home games at the 11,000 seat Wildcat Stadium in Durham, New Hampshire, and are led by head coach Sean McDonnell, who returned to the program after missing the 2019 season due to a medical issue.
The Indiana Collegiate Conference (ICC) was a college athletic conference in the United States from 1951 to 1978. It consisted solely of schools in Indiana.
The FIU Panthers are the athletic teams representing Florida International University, an American public university located in Miami. The Panthers currently compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics as members of Conference USA.