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NCAA Division I independent schools

In American college sports, NCAA Division I independent schools are four-year institutions that do not belong to a conference for a particular sport.

Contents

BowlingEdit

Bowling, currently a women-only sport at the NCAA level, conducts a single national championship open to members of all three NCAA divisions. As of the 2018–19 season, at least nine bowling programs compete as independents. This list is likely incomplete, as Division III independents have not yet been analyzed.

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary Conference
Belmont Abbey College Crusaders Belmont, North Carolina 1876 Private 1,320 Conference Carolinas (Division II)
Chestnut Hill College Griffins Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1924 Private 2,301 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (Division II)
Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers Owensboro, Kentucky 1858 Private 785 Great Midwest Athletic Conference (Division II)
Lewis University Flyers Romeoville, Illinois 1932 Private 6,573 Great Lakes Valley Conference (Division II)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Nebraska) Cornhuskers Lincoln, Nebraska 1869 Public 25,260 Big Ten Conference (Division I)
Post University Eagles Waterbury, Connecticut 1890 Private 7,317 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (Division II)
Ursuline College Arrows Pepper Pike, Ohio 1871 Private 1,136 Great Midwest Athletic Conference (Division II)
Walsh University Cavaliers North Canton, Ohio 1960 Private 2,766 Great Midwest Athletic Conference (Division II)
Wilmington University Eagles New Castle, Delaware 1968 Private 20,522 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (Division II)

FootballEdit

Football Bowl SubdivisionEdit

As of the upcoming 2019 college football season, there are six NCAA Division I FBS independent schools.

Institution Founded Nickname First season Location Type Enrollment Primary conference
United States Military Academy
(Army)
1802 Black Knights 1890 West Point, New York Federal 4,294 Patriot League
Brigham Young University 1875 Cougars 1922 Provo, Utah Private 29,672 West Coast Conference
Liberty University 1971 Flames 1973 Lynchburg, Virginia Private 15,000[a] ASUN Conference
New Mexico State University 1888 Aggies 1893 Las Cruces, New Mexico Public 18,497 Western Athletic Conference
University of Notre Dame 1842 Fighting Irish 1887 Notre Dame, Indiana Private 12,179 Atlantic Coast Conference
[b]
University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) 1863 Minutemen 1879 Amherst, Massachusetts Public 29,269 Atlantic 10
Notes
  1. ^ Does not include roughly 100,000 students enrolled in online programs.
  2. ^ Notre Dame remains officially an independent football team, and is not a member of the ACC in any capacity for football. However, as part of the agreement to join the ACC in other sports, Notre Dame agreed to schedule 5 games per year against ACC opponents.[1]

Football Championship SubdivisionEdit

One FCS school will play as an independent in the 2019 season, namely North Dakota. The school left the Big Sky Conference in 2018 to join the non-football Summit League. While North Dakota played as an FCS independent in 2018 and will do so again in 2019, it continues to play a full Big Sky football schedule due to contractual commitments; games against North Dakota in those seasons count in the Big Sky standings for their opponents. The Fighting Hawks will then join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020.[2]

Two other schools, Hampton and North Alabama, played the 2018 season as FCS independents, but both are set to join Big South Conference football in 2019. Hampton joined the Big South in other sports in 2018, but due to scheduling issues could not immediately join Big South football.[3] North Alabama moved from Division II to the non-football ASUN Conference in 2018, with the football team joining the Big South in 2019 under the terms of an alliance between the two conferences that provides any full member of either league that sponsors scholarship football with a guaranteed football home in the Big South.[4]

The next FCS independents after North Dakota's move to the MVFC will be Dixie State and Presbyterian. Dixie State announced in January 2019 that it would begin a transition from Division II to the non-football Western Athletic Conference in July 2020, with the football program becoming an FCS independent at that time.[5] Presbyterian announced in 2017 that it had started a transition to non-scholarship FCS football. The Blue Hose will leave Big South football after the 2019 season and play the 2020 season as an independent before joining the Pioneer Football League, a football-only conference made up entirely of non-scholarship FCS programs, in 2021. Presbyterian will remain a full non-football Big South member.[6]

Institution Founded Nickname First season Location Type Enrollment Primary conference
University of North Dakota 1883 Fighting Hawks 1894 Grand Forks, North Dakota Public 14,906 Summit League

Ice hockeyEdit

MenEdit

There is currently one NCAA Division I independent in men's ice hockey. The Sun Devils moved up from club hockey in the ACHA to full varsity status. Arizona State began playing a full Division I schedule in 2016–17, and expected to be in a hockey conference for 2017–18, but no conference move has yet materialized.

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Years Primary Conference
Arizona State University Sun Devils[7] Tempe, Arizona 1885 Public 50,246 2015–present Pac-12 Conference

WomenEdit

There are currently five NCAA Division I independent teams in women's ice hockey. The NCAA conducts a National Collegiate championship tournament open to Division I and Division II members, with a small number of Division III schools having been grandfathered into the National Collegiate level. A separate Division III championship is also held.

Four of the current independents are full members of Division II; Sacred Heart is the only current women's hockey independent that is a full Division I member. In 2019–20, another Division I member, LIU, will add women's hockey. All current independents participate in a scheduling agreement known as the New England Women's Hockey Alliance, which formed in advance of the 2017–18 season. The LIU athletic program will be formed in 2019–20 with the merger of Long Island University's two current athletic programs—the Division I LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds and the Division II LIU Post Pioneers—into a single Division I program. Shortly before the university announced its impending athletic merger, LIU Brooklyn had announced it would add women's hockey in 2019–20 and participate in the NEWHA. With the alliance now set to have the six members needed to become an officially recognized NCAA conference, it has formally organized as a conference and announced plans to gain NCAA recognition for 2019–20 and beyond.[8]

The most recent departure from the independent ranks was by Holy Cross, which joined Hockey East as a women-only member in 2018.

The Sacred Heart Pioneers moved up from Division III (where they were a member of the ECAC East) in 2003. Its men's team plays in Atlantic Hockey, which does not sponsor women's hockey.

The Franklin Pierce Ravens moved up from Division III (where they were a member of the New England Hockey Conference) in 2017. Its men's team plays in Division II as a member of the Northeast-10 Conference.

The Saint Anselm Hawks moved up from Division III (where they were a member of the New England Hockey Conference) in 2017. Its men's team plays in Division II as a member of the Northeast-10 Conference.

The Saint Michael's Purple Knights moved up from Division III (where they were a member of the New England Hockey Conference) in 2017. Its men's team plays in Division II as a member of the Northeast-10 Conference.

The Post Eagles have participated in the NEWHA since the 2017–18 season. They launched their women's program in 2016–17, playing as a de facto Division III independent in their first season. The Eagles men's team plays in Division II as an independent, but with a cross-scheduling agreement with the Northeast-10.

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Years Primary Conference
Sacred Heart University Pioneers[9] Fairfield, Connecticut 1963 Private 8,532 2003–present Northeast Conference
Post University Eagles[10] Waterbury, Connecticut 1890 Private 7,059 2017–present Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
Franklin Pierce University Ravens[11] Rindge, New Hampshire 1962 Private 2,381 2017–present Northeast-10 Conference
Saint Anselm College Hawks[12] Manchester, New Hampshire 1889 Private 1,968 2017–present Northeast-10 Conference
Saint Michael's College Purple Knights[13] Colchester, Vermont 1904 Private 2,316 2017–present Northeast-10 Conference
Possible future independent
Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Years Primary Conference
Long Island University (LIU) Sharks[14] Brooklyn, New York 1926 Private 11,200 2019–future Northeast Conference

SoccerEdit

MenEdit

There are no men's soccer independents as of the 2018 season.

WomenEdit

Two schools were independents in women's soccer in the most recent 2018 season, and are expected to remain independent in 2019. The most recent departure from the independent ranks was Hampton University, which joined the Big South Conference, which sponsors women's soccer, in 2018.[15]

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary Conference
Delaware State University Hornets Dover, Delaware 1891 Public 3,400 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
South Carolina State University Lady Bulldogs Orangeburg, South Carolina 1896 Public 3,000 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Men's VolleyballEdit

Men's volleyball has a truncated divisional structure in which members of both Division I and Division II compete under identical scholarship limits for a single national championship. In the 2019 season, nine men's volleyball programs, all Division II members, are competing as independents.

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary Conference
Alderson Broaddus University Battlers Philippi, West Virginia 1871 Private 1,052 Great Midwest Athletic Conference
Coker College Cobras Hartsville, South Carolina 1908 Private 1,000 South Atlantic Conference
Daemen College Wildcats Amherst, New York 1947 Private 3,005 East Coast Conference
Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters Harrogate, Tennessee 1897 Private 2,579 South Atlantic Conference
University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón Cowboys Bayamón, Puerto Rico 1971 Public 5,014 Independent[a]
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Tarzans Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 1911 Public 13,146 Independent[a]
University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus Gallitos San Juan, Puerto Rico 1903 Public 18,653 Independent[a]
Queens University of Charlotte Royals Charlotte, North Carolina 1857 Private 2,100 South Atlantic Conference
Urbana University Blue Knights Urbana, Ohio 1850 Private 1,505 Mountain East Conference
  1. ^ a b c While no member of the University of Puerto Rico system is part of a recognized NCAA conference, all are members of Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria de Puerto Rico, which governs college sports competitions in both Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

WrestlingEdit

There are no wrestling independents as of the 2018 season.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Notre Dame Goes To ACC: Bowl Security, Football Scheduling Flexibility Key To Move". Sports Business Daily. Street and Smith’s Sports Group. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  2. ^ "UND athletics accepts invites to The Summit League, Missouri Valley Football Conference" (Press release). North Dakota Fighting Hawks. January 26, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Johnson, Dave (May 15, 2018). "As an FCS independent, HU releases its 2018 schedule". Daily Press. Newport News, VA. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  4. ^ "North Alabama To Join Big South Football in 2019" (Press release). Big South Conference. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  5. ^ "Blazing a New Trail: Dixie State Accepts Invitation to Join Western Athletic Conference" (Press release). Dixie State Trailblazers. January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Presbyterian College to join Pioneer Football League in 2021" (Press release). Pioneer Football League. November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  7. ^ "Sun Devil Athletics Announces Addition of Men's Ice Hockey as NCAA Sport" (Press release). Arizona State Athletics. November 18, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "NEWHA announces intent to be recognized as NCAA national collegiate women's hockey conference". USCHO.com. September 26, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "Statistics :: History :: Sacred Heart :: Women's Hockey :: USCHO.com :: U.S. College Hockey Online". USCHO.com. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
  10. ^ "Statistics :: History :: Post :: Women's Hockey :: USCHO.com :: U.S. College Hockey Online". USCHO.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  11. ^ "Statistics :: History :: Franklin Pierce :: Women's Hockey :: USCHO.com :: U.S. College Hockey Online". USCHO.com. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  12. ^ "Statistics :: History :: Saint Anselm :: Women's Hockey :: USCHO.com :: U.S. College Hockey Online". USCHO.com. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  13. ^ "Statistics :: History :: Saint Michael's :: Women's Hockey :: USCHO.com :: U.S. College Hockey Online". USCHO.com. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Women's Ice Hockey Added as Varsity Sport at LIU Brooklyn; Morgan Tabbed as Inaugural Head Coach" (Press release). LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Big South Adds Hampton University as Full Member" (Press release). Big South Conference. November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.