The New Year is a time when many changes take place. People make New Years resolutions in an attempt to change something about themselves, inaugurations of newly elected public officials take place and this year, many students are lamenting the fact that cigarette taxes have gone up.
However, there is one change that even the most die-hard college football fan my not know about and it took place well before New Years.
Effective as of Dec. 15, 2006 at the Division 1 Football Championship in Chattanooga Tenn., Division 1-A football and Division 1-AA football have been given new names.
Division 1-A is now called the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Division 1-AA, the division Sam Houston State University plays in, is now NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). This change does not affect other sports, which are still referred to as Division 1.
The decision was made last August by the Division 1 presidents and chancellors who comprise the Division 1 Board of Directors.
The reason for the change is clear because of the mass confusion caused by the designations of 1-A, 1-AA, and 1-AAA. The old names were misused by the media and boosters when deciphering between football and other sports.
In Sam Houston’s case, football was referred to as Division II and basketball as 1-AA. Also, the schools in 1-A football have a tendency to not refer to themselves as being a 1-A schools, which only caused more confusion for viewers and the media alike.
Even though the divisions have changed their names, the conferences will remain the same. SHSU football is still in the Southland Conference and will continue its traditional rivalries.
“The Southland is a great league to play in,” SHSU football Head Coach Todd Whitten said. “The Southland (conference) is very competitive.”
According to a pamphlet provided by the NCAA, the new titles for the divisions were designed to create a sense of unity among the 148,000 student-athletes that compete in 23 sports at the Division 1 level.
The pamphlet stated that the purpose is to declare in a precise and obvious way the unique discrepancies between the categories of Division 1 football (post-season opportunities) while still maintaining them within the Division 1 atmosphere.
SHSU Athletic director Bobby Williams said he sees the change as a good thing.
“When explaining to fans that we were Division 1 in every sport except 1-AA football I could sense the confusion in there eyes,” Williams said. “Hopefully the Division 1 Football Championship will be a positive designation for our program.”