College athletics and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have been around since the late 1800s and early 1900s, and have been a large part of the culture at universities across the United States (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020). The oldest college athletic event dates back to 1852 when Harvard and Yale competed against each other in a regatta (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020). Since then, the popularity of schools competing against each other has continued to grow and has formed some great rivalries between colleges and universities. Students were one of the main reasons why intercollegiate athletic programs continued to grow in the 1870s as they established associations for rowing in 1871, football in 1876, and baseball in 1879 (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020). The NCAA itself was not formed until 1910 after President Roosevelt felt that colleges and universities needed to organize how college athletics were managed and operated (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020). The NCAA has continued to grow since then as approximately 500,000 student-athletes are competing at over 1,117 NCAA member institutions throughout the United States (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020).
As college sports became more popular to the general public, colleges and universities began investing more money into their athletic programs. Throughout the 1900s, some institutions built huge football stadiums seating up to 70,000 spectators, and college coaches were paid large salaries with the hope of having competitive teams (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020). In 1973, the NCAA decided to separate into different competitive divisions to allow schools of different sizes and philosophies to be in conjunction with each other (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020). “The membership voted to create three divisions, self-determined, and differentiated by athletics philosophy” (Osborne, Jensen, Weight, 2020, p. 15). This decision was the reason why there are now three separate divisions (I, II, and III) within the NCAA. This way schools can be more competitive when it comes to athletics by playing schools that are of similar size and philosophy.
Dr. Sungho Cho - Professor/BGSU
Dr. Amanda Koba - Professor/BGSU
Watson, Ryan, "DETERMINANTS OF PROFIT FOR DIVISION I MEN’S ICE HOCKEY" (2021). Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects. 98.