From NCAA Director of Media Coordination & Statistics David Worlock
Countable Opponentstical Purposes
Over the last several years, the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff has seen an increase in NCAA institutions playing non-member schools claiming to offer four-year degrees. On closer examination, it is evident these schools are focused solely on fielding athletics teams. We have found many of them offer exclusively online courses and have questionable curriculum and/or no academic mission.
Why Does This Matter?
We have heard from conference and institutional representatives from all three divisions regarding the authenticity of some of these schools. Competition against these teams has led to inflated statistics and results, some of which we feel have compromised the integrity of our national statistics and records. Therefore implementing a stronger policy is necessary.
The current NCAA statistics policy is borrowed from NCAA Bylaws 17, 20 and 31 and states that games are countable against varsity teams of four-year (or two-year senior colleges), degree-granting institutions that play a majority of their contests against U.S and/or Canadian (Division II institutions only) college varsity teams.
We felt this policy was too broad and therefore inquired about making a change to the legislation. After meeting with governance staffs from each division, it was evident the change we sought concerning countable opponents would not be made by adjusting the bylaws. However, per Bylaw 31.9, the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff has the authority to make changes to the statistics policies and procedures.
This is not a decision made solely by our staff. We have discussed the updated policy with our Media Coordination and Statistics Advisory Board, which consists of institutional and conference sports information directors from across all divisions, and that group endorses this change. We are also in the process of sharing this information with various NCAA championships oversight committees.
Therefore, effective August 1, 2015 a non-NCAA opponent must satisfy the new requirements to be considered countable. Please note this policy is only applicable for statistical purposes and does not affect sport sponsorship requirements. Additionally, this policy change does not preclude an NCAA school from playing a non-countable opponent.
Also included in the new requirements is a list of the non-countable institutions and rationale for each. Should you have any questions or concerns about any of the schools appearing on this list, please let me know as soon as possible. Similarly, if you have a question about another school that is not listed, please let us know so we may review that specific institution’s case.
We recognize there may be institutions now listed as non-countable that NCAA member schools have played in the past. Statistics and records achieved against these teams prior to the 2015-16 academic year will still be recognized. Moving forward, however, we feel this is a prudent course of action allowing for fairness across all levels of the NCAA and ensuring contests are played against institutions that have received some form of accreditation.
American Sports University- San Bernardino, CA
Arkansas Baptist College – Little Rock, AR
Association Free Lutheran Bible School and Seminary – Plymouth, MN
Barber-Scotia College -Concord, NC
Bristol University – Anaheim, CA
Central International Unviersity- Lynchburg, VA
Champion Baptist College – Hot Springs, AR
Dayspring Bible College – Mundelein, IL
State University of New York at Delhi- Delhi, NY
Essex County College – Newark, NJ
Fairhaven Baptist College -Chesterton, IN
College of Faith (Charlotte) – Charlotte, NC
University of Faith (Florida) – St. Petersburg, FL
College of Faith (West Memphis)- West Memphis, AR
Galveston College – Galveston, TX
Illinois Central College – East Peoria, IL
Indian River State College – Ft. Pierce, FL
Indiana University -Purdue University Columbus- Columbus, IN
College of Lake County – Grayslake, IL
Maryland Bible College & Seminary- Baltimore, MD
Ohio Mid-Western College – Cincinnati, OH
Open Bible University- Corsicana, TX
Patrick Henry College – Purcellville, VA
University of Pittsburgh (Titusville)- Titusville, PA
Saint Katherine College – San Marcos, CA
St. Louis Christian College – Florissant, MO
Santa Fe College – Gainesville, FL
Southern State Community College – Hillsboro, OH
Triton College – River Grove, IL
Virginia University of Lynchburg- Lynchburg, VA
West Virginia University at Parkersburgh – Parkersburgh, WV
Zoubida Cole College – Denver, CO
NCAA Statistics – Countable Opponents
For games to be considered countable for statistics (including rankings and records), the following must be true:
• The institution must be a four-year, degree-granting institution.
• The opponent must be considered a varsity intercollegiate team as defined by NCAA bylaw 17 and must be considered countable competition as defined by NCAA bylaws 126.96.36.199 (Divisions I and II) and 188.8.131.52.1 (Division III).
• The institution must satisfy one of the following:
o Is an active, provisional or reclassifying member of the NCAA;
o Is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies in the United States;
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
o If the institution is located in Canada, it must satisfy one of the following:
Is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada;
Is a member of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association; or
Is a member of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
o Is an active or associate member of the NAIA; or
o Is an active member of the National Christian College Athletic Association