Top 10 D2 (DII) Colleges in North Carolina | NCAA List 2022

Sponsoring college basketball & other sports activities have always been a key priority for NCAA. To date, they continue to promote these sports in different colleges in the country. D2 colleges in North Carolina have grown strongly in this field, as most of them seek a transition to D1.

According to Education Seattle, athletic programs bring in big money. Media rights, ticket sales, branding, and direct program donations total millions of dollars. A 2008 analysis conducted by ESPN noted just how profitable programs are to some schools.

So, in this article, we will focus on D2 colleges in North Carolina. We will also discuss the differences between all the divisions and their similarities. The table of content clearly outlines all you’ll learn from this article.

About D2 Colleges

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II (D-II) is one of the intermediate divisions of the organization. Unlike the larger and better-funded Division I, this program does not offer scholarships, yet it offers an alternative to Division III.

Generally, Division II schools are smaller public universities and a good number of private institutions. Division II institutions with fewer than 2,499 students make up a large minority (133 schools / 42%). 

Sports have a minimum contest and participant requirement, as well as scheduling requirements. Division II schools may also compete for Division I national championships in sports that do not have a Division II championship, and they may also follow D-I scholarship limits and apply D-I rules to those sports.

What is the Difference Between a Division 1 and Division 2 School?

Football and men’s basketball are traditionally the most revenue-generating sports and therefore, the most inequity exists between divisions. Division III schools average less than 2,000 attendees for a home football game, whereas FBS schools average over 41,000. FBS coaches typically earn millions of dollars. As well as coaching, many Division III head football coaches work as instructors at their colleges as a means to supplement their finances.

The fact that a school is in a lower division does not indicate that its student body does not care about sports, or that the school does not care as much about its athletes. Especially for high profile sports and teams that compete regularly for championships, many Division II and III schools have devoted fan bases.

It takes money, resources, and athletes of the highest calibre to compete in Division I. These schools are typically the biggest on average as well.

While Division II schools offer scholarships, they are fewer and smaller compared with Division I schools, and they have fewer athletic teams and fewer funding sources. A school in Division I offers an average of 18 sports, while a school in Division II offers an average of 15.

There are no athletic scholarships in Division III, hence it is the least competitive division with the highest number of participants among all divisions. Schools in Division III participate in 18 sports on average. As well, the number of sports participants in Division III is the highest.

Top 10 D2 (DII) Colleges in North Carolina | NCAA List 2021

When it comes to the best D2 colleges in North Carolina, the under listed colleges stood out for many reasons. These colleges include:

1. Winston-Salem State University
NCAA D2 – Baseball

Division II recently adopted legislation permitting schools to provide athletic aid and access to practice to all incoming freshman student-athletes and two-year college transfers regardless of their initial-eligibility status.

Currently, incoming freshman student-athletes and two-year college transfers who are non-qualifiers cannot get athletics aid during their first academic year in residence unless they get an initial-eligibility waiver approval. However, during the last six certification cycles, 97% of all such waivers were granted for at least athletic aid. 65% of waivers for non-qualifiers allowing access to practice were granted.

Considering the high percentage of approvals, this legislative change will allow schools to provide institutional athletics aid and access to practice without a waiver. Providing such aid and/or access I would leave to practice to institutional discretion. Any athletic aid provided to a non-qualifier would count toward team equivalency limits.

2. Wingate University
NCAA D2 – Football

Wingate University is a laboratory of difference-making that serves over 3,600 students in North Carolina. Wingate offers 35 undergraduate majors and six masters and four doctoral programs.

The mission of the Wingate University Athletic Department is to introduce student-athletes with the opportunity and encouragement to progress toward the degree of their choice, and the opportunity to develop athletic abilities in an environment consistent with the high standards of academic scholarship, fair play, leadership, and spiritual growth as outlined in the university statement of purpose.

Students in this school can partake in a large array of sports activities in this school such as basketball, cross-country, baseball, softball.

3. Chowan University
NCAA D2 – Baseball

Chowan University is a Christian educational institution founded in 1848 by Baptist families and named Chowan – which means “people of the south” – to honour the Native American Algonquin Chowanook tribe. For over 170 years, Chowan has enjoyed a long and distinguished tradition of faith and education in Northeastern NC.

To admit students who fit Chowan University, every application is reviewed individually with emphasis on the applicant’s high school grade point average, high school class rank, course curriculum, SAT 1, CLT, and/or ACT score(s), and extracurricular activities, including community service and church involvement. Recommendations and essays are not required but are welcomed.

There are so many sports facilities in the school that enable students to practice effectively and efficiently. Men and women equally practice different sports activities from soccer, volleyball, down to softball. However, they remain one of the top D2 colleges in North Carolina because of their baseball team.

4. Wingate University
NCAA D2 – Men’s Basketball

Wingate University is a laboratory of difference-making that serves over 3,600 students in North Carolina. Wingate offers 35 undergraduate majors and six masters and four doctoral programs.

The mission of the Wingate University Athletic Department is to introduce student-athletes with the opportunity and encouragement to progress toward the degree of their choice, and the opportunity to develop athletic abilities in an environment consistent with the high standards of academic scholarship, fair play, leadership, and spiritual growth as outlined in the university statement of purpose.

The basketball team of this university takes part in huge championships where they garner trophies. With strict training routines and quality leadership, they’ll continually remain one of the top D2 colleges in North Carolina.

5. Winston-Salem State University
NCAA D2 – Women’s Basketball

WSSU student-athletes gain academic support through the University College & Lifelong Learning (UCaLL) department in the Academic Success Center at Hill Hall. The WSSU Athletic Department staff and coaches identify and encourage the mutual goals of academic and athletic success and work in partnership with the entire UCaLL staff to create champions in the classroom and competition.

All incoming freshman and transfer students have an Academic Success Counselor (ASC), a UCaLL staff member that stations as the primary contact for all academic matters and other issues to contribute to a smooth and successful transition to WSSU.

The ASC assigned to incoming student-athletes also works with all participants in a specific sport to allow an understanding of the specific challenges and needs for student-athletes in their chosen sports and further strengthen the bond with the Athletic Department staff and coaches to provide the best support possible.

Similar to every other program, their women’s basketball has a calendar it follows for all its events.

6. UNC – Pembroke
NCAA D2 – Baseball

Each student is a complete individual at UNCP. All students get an opportunity to make names for themselves — to stand out in a warm and welcoming community that wants them to succeed — and partake in a rare combination of opportunities, cultures and ideas that can’t be found anywhere else.

Located in the Southeastern North Carolina town of Pembroke, UNCP has a rich American Indian history and is one of the safest campuses in the University of North Carolina System. With small class sizes, a low student-faculty ratio, and one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, UNCP is a growing university that empowers students to live vibrant, fulfilling lives.

To encourage sports activities in the University, they have “BRAVES OF THE WEEK” which is an award given to the students that performed exceptionally in sports activities that week. For this reason and more, they remain one of the top D2 colleges in North Carolina.

7. Mars Hill University
NCAA D2 – Baseball

Mars Hill University is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States, sitting in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

MHU has undertaken its first fully online academic program, the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. The institution has also introduced the integrated health major; minors in Appalachian studies, data analytics, and community engagement; and certificates in intelligence studies,
ceramics, graphic design, and photography.

As a competitive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II school that is part of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), Mars Hill always seeks to be victorious. That includes winning in the classroom. The Division II student-athletes champion academic achievement and give back to their community.

8. Belmont Abbey College
NCAA D2 – Baseball

The Belmont Abbey College Department of Athletics values each college athlete as a student first and athlete second, and in so doing, seeks to create exceptional students to glorify the name of God. In this endeavour, the athletic department is guided by the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning.

While training all athletes to become superior competitors, the Department believes in aligning to the physical and emotional needs of student-athletes to maintain their health and well-being. Coaches, faculty, and staff continuously encourage learning and academic excellence while strengthening the athlete’s talents and performance.

The Department values the principles of Reclaim the Game and supports athletes in developing virtue, fair play, honesty, and integrity.

All students are highly valued and regarded as significant participants in diversifying, expanding, and developing the college and athletic program. The Athletic Department will ensure the equal treatment of all student-athletes.

9. Belmont Abbey College
NCAA D2 – Men’s Basketball

The Belmont Abbey College Department of Athletics values each college athlete as a student first and athlete second, and seeks to create exceptional students to glorify the name of God. In this endeavour, the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning guides the athletic department.

While training all athletes to become superior competitors, the Department believes in aligning to the physical and emotional needs of student-athletes to maintain their health and well-being. Coaches, faculty, and staff continuously encourage learning and academic excellence while strengthening the athlete’s talents and performance.

The Department values the principles of Reclaim the Game and supports athletes in developing virtue, fair play, honesty, and integrity.

All students are highly valued and regarded as significant participants in diversifying, expanding, and developing the college and athletic program. The Athletic Department will ensure the equal treatment of all student-athletes.

10. Lenoir-Rhyne University
NCAA D2 – Baseball

In pursuit of the development of the whole person, Lenoir-Rhyne University seeks to liberate mind and spirit, clarify personal faith, foster physical wholeness, build a sense of community, and promote responsible leadership for service in the world.

As a community of learning, the University provides programs of undergraduate, graduate, and continuing study committed to the liberal arts and sciences as a foundation for a wide variety of careers and as guidance for a meaningful life.

Their athletics team train so hard to ensure they’re on top of their game. Their fan zone is a place where their sports team gets all the support they need to execute all sports activities of the day.

Conclusion

Choosing the right college is a big decision for any student-athlete.

The NCAA D2 level has 200+ colleges and while most student-athletes think of D1 schools when considering college, they are surprised to find that athletes at the D2 level often have the talent to be D1 but choose D2 for a better fit.

These D2 colleges in Carolina are the best of the best.

References

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Updated: November 25, 2021 — 12:05 pm

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