Home Miscellaneous NCAA DIII schools can fight for more, but will they?

DIII schools can fight for more, but will they?

1,098 colleges and universities, 102 athletic conferences.

There are 1,098 schools in the NCAA. Division I has 350 schools, Division II has 310 schools, and Division III leads the way with 438 schools, close to 40% of the total membership. Keep that number in mind.

Tomorrow, the member schools of the NCAA will vote on the newly written NCAA Constitution. You can read the 20 page document here if you like. Included in that document is the following passage:

Article 3. Finance
A. Resources will be allocated to the three divisions to provide standard membership services, including championships. Division II will receive 4.37% and Division III will receive 3.18% of all operating revenue sources, as agreed on January 9, 1996


Division III receives 3.18% of the NCAA’s revenue each year, and that percentage has not changed in 25 years. Even though Division III has 41% more schools than Division II, it receives less than 3/4 the revenue. Division I schools are hesitant to agree to increasing these percentages, since the schools in those divisions raise almost none of the revenue. Over 90% of the NCAA’s revenue each year comes from television contracts for March Madness. However, it is unclear why Division II, a smaller group of schools and athletes should have a dramatically larger piece of the pie. The 3.18% allocated to Division III has not kept up with the cost of providing acceptable championship experiences, as most starkly shown last season when the NCAA simply canceled Division III winter championships rather than pay for them. Division I and Division II managed to conduct championships for their winter athletes without a problem.

Division III schools are being told they should step up and vote for the new constitution and lock in the paltry 3.18% number for the future, but they do not have to listen. Approving the new constitution requires a 2/3 supermajority vote. Each school and conference gets one vote. The 438 Division III schools and 43 voting conferences combine to make up almost exactly 40% of the votes. Division III alone can stop the constitution from passing, and this is exactly what the member schools should do. They should fight for a bigger piece of the revenue allocated to DII and DIII. There are 128 more schools and over 60,000 more athletes in Division III than in Division II, yet Division III is allocated over $13 million less this year. Division III spends 75% of its revenue on championships. Imagine how the experience of the athletes could be improved with another $9-10 million dollars available (the DIII wrestling championship budget is just under $470,000).

I hope that the schools in Division III are aware of this and willing to stand up for their schools and their division. The NCAA is made up of its member schools, so the member schools in Division III should fight hard to improve the athletic experience of their athletes. There is no reason to sit idly by and rubber stamp this constitution.