The Differences Between Division I-A, I-AA and I-AAA Athletic Programs
There are 325 NCAA Division I institutions divided into three subdivisions:
Division I-A: (117 member institutions) - new membership requirements
* Must sponsor 16 varsity sports for men and women.
* Must play at least five home games against other I-A opponents.
* Must average annually at least 15,000 in actual attendance for all home
* Must provide an average of 90% of the permissible maximum number of football
grants per year (85) over a rolling two year period
* There is an annual limit of 85 student-athletes who can receive athletic
* Must offer a minimum of 200 athletic grants or expend at least $4 million
on grants to all student-athletes.
* Permitted to hire ten full-time coaches and two graduate assistant coaches.
Division I-AA: (123 member institutions) - a cost containment
* Can sponsor two fewer (14) varsity sports for men and women.
* Can offer no athletic aid in football or up to 63 full grants.
* Athletic aid in football (maximum of 63 full grants) can be awarded in
varying amounts to 85 student-athletes annually.
* Limited to seven full-time coaches and four "restricted" coaches.
Division I-AAA: (85 member institutions) - includes the Big West
* 85 institutions that do not sponsor football at the intercollegiate level.
* Athletics programs are focused on the sport of basketball.
* 41 of the 85 Division I-AAA institutions are small private colleges or
The nine UC's are currently organized as follows:
Division I-A (Must sponsor 16 varsity sports; Must fund 85 football grants
Division I-AAA (Must sponsor 14 varsity sports; No football program)
UC Santa Barbara
Division II (Must sponsor 10 varsity sports; Maximum of 36 football
UC San Diego
Division III (No athletic aid awarded)
UC Santa Cruz
UC San Francisco
None of the UC campuses currently compete at the NCAA Division I-AA level
like Sacramento State, Cal Poly SLO, St Mary's or members of the Big Sky