Swimming against the current
Division I. The tip top of collegiate athletics. The highest point of the NCAA. With the largest conferences, highest levels of competition and biggest television deals, it’s where most schools and universities want to be.
One would think.
Currently, around a dozen colleges across the country are in the process of transitioning their programs to become a Division I school, but 30 years ago Augusta University did the opposite – it moved down.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, the Jaguars were members in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) before moving to the NCAA’s Division II. Then, in 1981, Augusta joined the Division I ranks as a founding member of the Big South Conference. After completing the transition, the Jaguars stayed in the conference from 1986 through 1991. Then Augusta made another move by going back to Division II.