Boiling down Division III into a few bullet points isn’t easy, and it hasn’t gotten easier as the division has grown. But Division III has been attempting to define itself in a way that can be easily communicated to those on the outside. After a Division II identity statement process ended up with the fairly meaningless “I chose Division II” mantra and D-II wrapped itself in a lot of the things Division III holds dear, it became important to take control of the message.
To us here at D3sports.com, Division III is the highest form of purely amateur athletics in the U.S. It’s where students — note, not “student-athletes” — play for love of the game. Division III competitors get no special treatment, no scholarships, no special privileges, no separate dining halls, no dorms to themselves. They don’t get preferred treatment from their professors; in fact, it’s far more likely they get treated more harshly from teachers who believe they don’t belong in the school.
But distilling that opinion, plus the opinions of hundreds of other Division III true believers, down into a form that can be easily shared and understood, isn’t easy. Here’s how Division III is positioning itself:
“Follow your passions and discover your potential.
“The college experience is a time of learning and growth — a chance to follow passions and develop potential. For student-athletes in Division III, all of this happens most importantly in the classroom and through earning an academic degree. The Division III experience provides for passionate participation in a competitive athletic environment, where student-athletes push themselves to excellence and build upon their academic success with new challenges and life skills. And student-athletes are encouraged to pursue the full spectrum of opportunities available during their time in college. In this way, Division III provides an integrated environment for student-athletes to take responsibility for their own paths, follow their passions and find their potential through a comprehensive learning experience.”
What’s your take?
For more, here’s the NCAA News article on the unveiling.