The National Collegiate Athletic Association currently categorizes Salisbury University as a Division III school.
Divisions define levels of competition. Division I “consists of the largest schools [with] big budgets to support their athletic programs.” Division III “is the lowest division comprised of many small private universities with fairly low budgets,” according to College Athlete Insight.
Division level also determines the amount of support provided to student athletes. Division III schools may not provide tutors or athletic scholarships, according to College Athlete Insight.
SU does not have the student population of fellow University of Maryland System schools such as Towson University or University of Maryland.
However, SU is not a small private university.
SU’s student population is 8,617, according to College Factual.
Division II school Frostburg State University’s student population is almost half of SU’s at 4,858, according to Frostburg State University’s Facts and Rankings webpage.
Size matters when it comes to division level, but so does performance.
SU’s team sports are incredibly competitive for a Division III school.
Salisbury took home two championship victories during the Spring 2021 Season thanks to wins from baseball and women’s lacrosse teams.
The men’s lacrosse team made it to the championship game but did not score a victory.
“Less than 3% of [Division III] member institutions can take credit for winning multiple national championships in the same academic year for team sports,” according to Delmarva Now.
SU’s athletic program has seen progress off the field as well.
Alexis Strobel was named the Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year. This was a first for an SU player, according to Delmarva Now.
SU’s football team was ranked sixth in College Athletic Advisor’s Top 20 Programs That Inspire.
The selection was made “from a group of over 500 four-year football programs in NCAA Division II [and] NCAA Division III,” according to the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
SU is rising above the competition and could provide students more opportunities to challenge themselves and more opponents by becoming a Division II school.
By JACOB BEAVER
Featured photo by Brad Boardman