Birmingham-Southern fans, coaches, student-athletes:
Welcome to Division III.
We don’t harbor any delusions that you want to be here. From the outside, Division III doesn’t compare very favorably to Division I. But let’s be honest: Birimgham-Southern wasn’t a Division I power, and the trip from Division I mid-major to Division III isn’t as far as you might think.
Your school is giving scholarship money to more than 200 people solely based on athletic ability. When that stops, your institution will be able to redirect that money to award need-based or academic-based aid. That will raise the level of the student body and, in fact, will increase the value of your degree.
You may not think much of your likely new fellow conference members, but let’s be honest — it’s not like the Big South is populated by well-known names. High Point? UNC Asheville? Radford? Winthrop? Rhodes, Trinity University, Austin College, Colorado College and others have stellar reputations, and they are not based on being on the 13, 14 or 15 line every March … or by being the brainchild of a televangelist.
Coaches and administrators: I expect you have no desire to be in Division III. If you are at all conflicted about the Division III mission, I would suggest leaving. You can’t be half-hearted about Division III. It’s a challenge. But if you’ve ever faced a halfway-decent Division III program you know one thing: This is not glorified high school ball.
A further discussion of the issues is posted in our Q&A with Birmingham-Southern president David Pollick.