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NCAA surveying Div. III membership on possible split into fourth division

Thursday, February 7, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The NCAA is asking the presidents and chancellors of Division III schools, already the association's largest membership group, about the feasibility of splitting the division or creating a new Division IV.

Surveys were mailed Thursday to the 440 Division III schools.

"The membership received a lot of important information and engaged in some very good discussions at the NCAA Convention in January," said Dan Dutcher, NCAA vice president for Division III. "With this survey, we are looking to build on those discussions and continue to ask Division III members what they think is the best direction to move toward."

Division III already is projected to grow to about 480 members in the next dozen years. The NCAA last year formed a working group on membership issues, and the Division III group recommended the creation of a fourth division for the association's smallest schools.

"Nothing has been decided," Dutcher said. "We want to give our Division III colleges and universities more opportunity to voice their opinions."

Responses to the survey are due by Feb. 29. The findings will be made public after the Division III working group reviews the survey at a meeting March 26, and Division III members could vote on a proposal as early as the NCAA convention next January.

Any change in the NCAA structure would be delayed at least two years to allow time for members to decide on their affiliation, the NCAA said.

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