Welcome to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision!
Remember when Penn was just a Division I football program?
Life was sure simple then.
Then the Quakers moved to Division I-AA when that division was created in 1978.
But after 28 years, the leaders of the I-AA schools have had enough of being what they called "second-class citizens".
So in typical bureaucratese, the NCAA has decided to reclassify I-A and I-AA. They are now called...(drumroll, please):
""Football Bowl Subdivision"" -- (what used to be I-A)
"NCAA Football Championship Subdivision" -- (I-AA)
These names are just absolutely ludicrous, and I have a feeling that no one will use them, except on official news releases. I-A and I-AA worked because they were simple, short, and actually made sense. But the NCAA decided to mess with something that was not broken.
The presidents believe the new nomenclature, which becomes effective in December, more accurately distinguishes Division I institutions for purposes of governing football, the only sport for which such a distinction is necessary. Members felt the old nomenclature inaccurately tiered Division I institutions in all sports, not just football, and produced instances in which media outlets and other entities incorrectly cited institutions as being Division I-AA in basketball or baseball, for example.
Just look at this quote from this press release announcing the change:
"All Division I institutions, regardless of whether they sponsor football, are in fact and should be referred to as Division I members," said Board Chair and University of Connecticut President Philip Austin. "The only reasons for labeling are the need to distinguish the two football subdivisions for the purpose of governing the sport and to maintain separate statistics. The Board is stressing that the nomenclature reflect the totality of the Division I membership whenever possible and that the subdivision labels be used sparingly. Still, there are instances in which we need to use them, and we feel the new labels are more accurate."
Amazing. But that's the NCAA