Division I sports are often perceived as having many more benefits than Division III programs. Common notions are that Division I schools offer better experiences for athletes and fans, however, from an athletic view D-III schools have just as many benefits as D-I programs””if not more.

It is true that D-I schools can offer some things that D-III schools cannot, such as athletic scholarships, larger fan bases and larger facilities.

“D-I is portrayed as very spirited and high energy””they have a huge football stadium and a lot of people outside the school follow them, sometimes even nationally””but here we have less of that,” said Erica Hochstein, sophomore track runner. “It’s pretty much that you have to know this school or be a part of this school to support them and know what is going on.”

However, these benefits of D-1 may not outweigh the pros that D-III programs offer students and fans.

As members of the D-III Trinity athletic community, student athletes have the opportunity to be involved in more than just their sports, and athletics. One of the main perks of being a D-III athlete is the ability to have a college experience that isn’t limited to athletics.

“We get the freedom of having a life. You get to play a sport but also be involved in other organizations and, for me, you get a summer and I was able to do a harder major, which I don’t think I would have been able to do at a D-I school,” said Abby Seamster, a sophomore volleyball player.

Hochstein also enjoys the ability to participate in multiple activities.

“I have a lot of other opportunities I can get involved with other than just the sport I play,” Hochstein said. “I also sing in choir, I’m in a fraternity and I can do those things as well as complete my academics on top of doing the sport, which is really beneficial because I don’t think I choose just one.”

From the perspective of nonathletes, the fact that D-III schools have student-athletes is also a benefit.

“As a Division III school, in part because we do not offer athletic scholarships, student-athletes are here as students first,” said McKenzie Quinn, senior RM and tour guide. “I really appreciate being at a D-III school where athletes really care about the academics. We kind of get the best of both worlds at Trinity because…we do have really great athletic events.”

D-III environments are also better for the supporters. With a D-III community, it is easier for the athletes and nonathletes to connect on a day-to-day level without the separation between the two that many DI schools have.

“People actually know each other who are on the teams, and you can support each other in a more personal way that may have better or more positive effects on the people who are playing,” Hochstein said.

D-III schools don’t only offer a good experience for players, but also for fans, as Trinity supporters point out.

“As a fan it’s fun because you know the people that are playing since its smaller, and that is really great,” said Erika Edrington, sophomore volleyball player.

D-III schools allow athletes to expand their experiences and give them the option to be very involved in campus.

Supporters also gain many benefits , from free game tickets to the unity of athletes and nonathletes. While D-III sports may not receive the attention that D-I programs garner, schools like Trinity offer as many perks””at a smaller and more personal level.

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