In a major reorganization brought on by its rapidly expanding membership, the national governing body for women's collegiate sports voted today to split into three divisions to which colleges would belong on a sport-by-sport basis.
The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women rejected a reorganization proposal that would have based division eligibility on a required minimum number of sports.
Delegates from the 459 colleges represented at the AIA's annual convention here rejected the minimum-number proposal on the grounds that it would take away institutional autonomy, that the AIAW should not be dictating "programmatic stipulations" to its member colleges.
The AIAW is currently divided into "small" and "large" colleges.
The AIAW is currently divided into "small" and "large" colleges. Effective in May, there will be three divisions for regional and national championships, each college being able to choose to which division it wants to belong in various sports.
Under the new reorganization, a school could, for example, have a Division I basketball program, a Division II gymnastics program and a Division III volleyball program.
Division I permits - but doesn't require - the offering of "full rid" athletic scholarships (tuition, fees, room and board). It sets a maximum number of scholarships a college may award per sport: badminton (eight), basketball (12), crosscountry (eight), field hockey (14), golf (eight), gymnastics (10), skiing (12), softball (13), swimming/diving (15), synchronized swimming (12), tennis (eight), track (20) and volleyball (12).
Division II also allows limited financial aid, not to exceed 25 per cent of what the "full ride" would amount to or the number of scholarships permitted. The school still could not award more than the number of scholarships permitted for Divison I.
For example, if the "full ride" in badminton were $400, a Division II school could not give the student more than $100. But the school could give up to eight students $100.
Division III prohibits any financial aid based on athletic ability.
The delegates also endorsed, 244 to 64 (with eight abstensions) the Equal Rights Amendment.