By Sierra Morrison
Glassboro, N.J. – Rowan University is going through a lot of changes. Rowan University had a 10 year plan for growth; by year 3 Rowan University hit that goal. To keep up with demand, Rowan University opened a new business and engineering building and has more buildings under construction. With all this growth, there’s talk that Rowan University will go from Division III to Division I.
In order to go Division I, Universities must meet the following: Division I member institutions have to sponsor at least seven sports for men and seven for women (or six for men and eight for women) with two team sports for each gender. Each playing season has to be represented by each gender as well. There are contest and participant minimums for each sport, as well as scheduling criteria. For sports other than football and basketball, Division I schools must play 100 percent of the minimum number of contests against Division I opponents — anything over the minimum number of games has to be 50 percent Division I. Men’s and women’s basketball teams have to play all but two games against Division I teams; for men, they must play one-third of all their contests in the home arena. Schools that have football are classified as Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) or NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Football Bowl Subdivision schools are usually fairly elaborate programs. Football Bowl Subdivision teams have to meet minimum attendance requirements (average 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game), which must be met once in a rolling two-year period. NCAA Football Championship Subdivision teams do not need to meet minimum attendance requirements. Division I schools must meet minimum financial aid awards for their athletics program, and there are maximum financial aid awards for each sport that a Division I school cannot exceed.
While Rowan University meets most of the requirements for going Division I ( i.e. sponsoring at least seven sport for men and women), it hasn’t played against another Division I teams or met the minimum attendance requirements (15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game), which must be met once in a rolling two-year period.
In order for Rowan University to seat 15,000 people it would have to building a new stadium and new facilities, which is costly.
Aside from that, a recent education board meeting held April 6 mentioned no plans or funding for Rowan University to go Division I.