Delegates at the NCAA convention in Nashville, Tenn., stopped short of implementing a major restructuring package that could have resulted in some 50 small-scale Division I athletic programs being forced from competition at the major college level.
In effect, big-time programs earned a split decision in their fourth effort in 17 years to make Division I status more exclusive.
A measure to increase from six to seven the minimum number of sports a school must offer for both men and women passed by a comfortable margin. Delegates also set a minimum amount of financial aid a school must spend on each of its men’s and women’s athletic programs. However, amendments were later passed to help smaller-scale programs reach the new minimums, which will go into effect in the fall of 1993.
Schools have three options to meet the financial requirement: spend at least $250,000 on both men’s and women’s athletic programs; offer at least half of the maximum scholarships allowed in each sport offered; or offer a total of at least 25 scholarships for men’s and women’s programs in sports other than football and basketball.
Cal State Northridge, which is in its inaugural year of Division I competition, likely will qualify under all three of the options by 1993, Athletic Director Bob Hiegert said.
The projected scholarship budget for the CSUN athletic program in 1993-94 is $618,000, which is to be divided among 16 men’s and women’s teams. Football is the only sport in which CSUN does not compete at the Division I level. Northridge fields teams in eight men’s and seven women’s sports.
Measures to be considered today are Proposition 53, which would require that a school’s athletic program be classified in the same division in all sports, and Proposition 54, which would create a third Division I football classification.