Athletic Recruiting

What Is It Like Playing DIII Sports? A DIII School President Weighs In

(Wikimedia – Owupix)

What criteria should you use to decide whether it’s worth playing DIII sports, or pursuing a roster opening at DI, DII or NAIA schools?

Even as we encourage you to cast your net wide, we’ve spoken before about how important it is to be realistic in your expectations about your college recruiting. To see what a day in the life of an athlete at college is like. To remember that there are opportunities outside of DI in your recruiting.

So it was interesting to see this piece by Ohio Wesleyan University’s president, Rock Jones, celebrating what student-athletes in Division III schools can accomplish.

About 40 percent of all intercollegiate NCAA athletes come from Division III programs, which award no athletic scholarships. For these scholar-athletes, there is no pressure to place performance on the field above performance in the classroom, and not one member of any of those teams is using athletic skills as a way to pay for college. […]

One out of three Ohio Wesleyan students participates on a varsity team, and that’s not unusual for a liberal arts college. At big Division I universities, only a small percentage of students can play a varsity sport, while others are spectators. That paradigm is flipped at a D-III college, where athletics is all about participating, not just watching.

You can find the rest of Dr. Jones’s comments here.

So: What’ll it be?

There are thousands of colleges out there in all the divisions of play. We definitely don’t want to skip over Division II schools like UC San Diego, which ranked first in DII in the 2014 NCSA Power Rankings (Ohio Wesleyan ranked 48th among its peers).

Tracking the overall academic and athletic strength of a program through our Power Rankings is one way to rank schools. But there are so many other variables to consider: your major, how far you want to go, what kind of school you want to go to, how much playing time you want.

It can be a lot to consider.

What do you rank highest in your college search? We’d love to hear from you.

About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.