NCAA Division I, II, and III Membership Criteria.
The NCAA is an organization that was established in 1906 to administer intercollegiate athletics. It enforces the rules for various sports and the eligibility criteria for athletes. The NCAA supervises athletic contests for about 80 national championships in about 20 sports per year. The NCAA has gone through some structural changes throughout the years. When the organization first started it had every team and conference on equal levels. It took a while but finally there was some long overdue changes made.
In 1973 the NCAA reorganized its membership structure so that it created three new classifications. These of which included Division I, II, and III. Each of these members represents a different level of competition. Every college was allowed to choose which division it wanted to belong to.
The members would decide which division they wanted to participate in based on their ability to meet the division's criteria. Each division holds its own championships. Also, in 1978 a football subdivision, Division I-AA was added and the women's championships became part of the NCAA program in 1981-82. .
Division I which is the division with the most prestige has the most criteria objectives to meet. Members must first have at least seven men's teams and seven women's teams or at least six men's teams and eight women's teams. Each playing season (Fall, Winter, Spring) must be represented by both men's and women's teams. All games must be played against Div. I schools. Div. I-A or I-AA football schools are considered the more prominent programs. "Div.I-A. teams have to meet minimum attendance requirements (17,000 people per home game or 20,000 average of all football games in the last four years or 30,000 permanent seats in their stadium and average 17,000 per home game or 20,000 average of all football games in the last four years or, be in a member conference in which at least six conference members sponsor football or more than half of football schools meet attendance criteria”(NCAA online).