November 17, 2008

Fully Funded Volleyball Programs?

Is there a site or a way to find out what each college has in terms of scholarships if they aren't fully funded. I know D-l has 12 and D-ll has 8 if they are fully funded programs but how do we know which schools aren't fully funded and the amount that school offers as mandated by the school. Thanks. I enjoy your site!! Dennis

My quick answer would be to check website. Many college coaches (along with many fans) use the Rich Kern site as the statistical database to find out so much about college volleyball. It is amazing the wealth of information that this site has and I would not be surprised if it does contain the answers to your questions.

As you know, Division I can be funded to 12 full scholarships and Division II can be funded to 8 full scholarships. It is then up to each institution or conference to determine at what level they will actually fund the volleyball programs.

There are a number of conferences at the Division II level that have determined that each member school can only fund the programs at a certain number that is less than the NCAA maximum. I do not understand has this cannot be a violation of gender equity or limiting the opportunities for female athletes, but it does happen. It gets a bit strange at the NCAA Division II level because private institutions have a number of different avenues to package a scholarship for athletes. These avenues (academic, athletic, merit, leadership, state, federal, religious, etc.) sometimes count toward the NCAA limit and sometimes not. The result is that some Division II programs actually have many more than 8 players on full scholarships - it is not illegal, it is just a quirk in the funding rules.

Finding out this scholarship funding information can be tough because NCAA Division I institutions are loath to announce that they are not funding a women's sport at the NCAA limit. Unlike Women's Basketball, which the NCAA allows for 15 scholarships (imagine going 18 in volleyball), if volleyball is one or two short on support, it can have a huge negative impact upon recruiting, season preparation and competitive ability. If Women's basketball is short a scholarship or two, then still have two deep and a couple in the bank for security. I don't even want to look at football's 85 (and they used to be at over a 100 in the not too distant past).

On average, the better ranked Division I volleyball conferences would be fully funded with their programs. When you step away from the upper conferences is where you would start to find a program or two that is short a scholarship. The bottom Division I ranked conferences are the ones where we could find a number of programs not operating at full scholarship support. These types of athletic departments like to say they are Division I, but they are shallow in their support of women's and Olympic category sports.

It is impossible to really generalize the Division II level because of all the variables with each conference, school and program.