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Why do athletes choose to play Division III sports? Division III student-athletes will not receive the type of recognition that many Division 1 student-athletes receive. They do not receive the athletic scholarships that every other NCAA division receives. Many schools do not have the money and benefits that most Division 1 student-athletes have. Why spend so much time practicing on a level that many people simply do not care about? The answer to that is passion. Division III athletes simply just want to play the sport that many of them started playing at a young age.

This is not to say that there are no benefits to playing Division III sports. Many colleges that offer Division III sports are smaller schools that have a high focus on academics. These schools offer a variety of different programs in the arts and sciences. There are many benefits like having a good student-to-faculty ratio and coaches are more understanding about academic obligations. There is a greater emphasis on academics that simply is not offered at other levels. Many prestigious schools offer Division III sports. Schools like MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Emory have great academic programs and athletic programs.

Another advantage to playing Division III sports is that most of the colleges have smaller student bodies. This makes for a greater community within these colleges. It also makes for athletes being a bigger majority within the school. This makes for a great athletic atmosphere within these schools. Many schools pack out their college football games, and student-athletes are able to represent their schools. There is still a sense of accomplishment that student-athletes are able to feel.

The biggest advantage to playing Division III sports is just being able to continue playing the sport that athletes love. Many athletes who do not have the talent to play at the Division I level can play at the Division III level and have good college careers. With this opportunity to play, some athletes can even get the chance to play professional sports like Atlanta Braves pitcher and Berry Alumni Collin McHugh. Also, keep in mind that the talent at the Division III level is still really good. Most athletes are still the best athletes on their high school teams. With Division III sports, many student-athletes’ dreams are just to play college sports and they are able to fulfill that with the opportunity that Division III athletes get. They have so much passion for their sport that they are willing to spend hours playing it with many not getting the recognition that they deserve.

When my cleats first dug into the orange dirt of the baseball diamond at the age of five, I knew that I wanted to keep playing my sport as long as I possibly could. This was my dream. I remember hitting with my dad in the backyard every day. All the long hours I spent just pursuing one goal. Being able to play baseball as long as possible. I remember my joy and excitement as I got my first offer to play college baseball. The moment when I committed to play baseball at Berry College. As years have gone by, my passion for playing baseball has not gone down. This passion has not changed for many student-athletes. Just know that while many will scoff at the idea of Division III sports, it means the world to those who play them.

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