What makes Division I different?

ESPN.com asks: What are the differences in the level of competition between the different divisions? Our panel answers.

Updated: May 22, 2007, 2:39 PM ET

CAMPUS CALL: DIVISION DIFFERENCES
Each week, ESPN.com surveys the student-athletes on our panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.

What makes Division I athletics different from the lower divisions?

Murphy
Murphy
"I think a big difference is the ability and encouragement to be a two- or three-sport athlete at Division II and III schools versus competing at a Division I school. A friend from home was encouraged at her D3 school to continue to pursue multiple sports in order to keep up the training schedule for the next season. At D1 schools I feel playing multiple sports is more difficult, as you miss offseason training when you are in another sport's main season. While focusing on a single sport enhances sport-specific skills, I think playing multiple sports also has tremendous advantages. It cultivates athleticism and improves your performance overall; being a multisport athlete is a thing I think many athletes miss when they transition to college competition in a single sport."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse


Tidwell
Tidwell
"As far as football goes, I think the upper-tier Division I-AA teams are comparable to many of the 'mid-major' teams in Division I-A. I speak from experience, as I have played one each season and every game has been very competitive. However, I don't think that the upper-tier I-AA teams are too comparable to the Oklahomas and Floridas out there."
-- Tyler Tidwell, Navy football


Henley
Henley
"The main difference between the divisions in college sports is the talent level. The most obvious and biggest contributing factor is the disparity in the number of scholarships between the divisions. This disparity takes nothing away from the level of competition; each division is highly competitive and entertaining."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball


Vetter
Vetter
"As you move up in divisions the pace of the game gets faster. It isn't that much faster, but it is enough to notice."
-- Jessie Vetter, Wisconsin women's hockey


Wileman
Wileman
"I think with soccer it is difficult to determine the difference. Division I schools obviously have better facilities and things like that, but as to the level of play, I don't think there is that much difference. The great thing about soccer is that anyone can win on any given day. So I don't feel like there is that great of a difference."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer


Anosike
Anosike
"Between the different divisions I think the difference is physical. Though participating in sports anywhere is time consuming, those who play at the highest level must be strong and fast for a longer period of time than other levels because the competition is so good."
-- Nicky Anosike, Tennessee women's basketball

PAST QUESTIONS
Should alcohol be allowed at collegiate sporting events?
SMU "I think the alcohol policy for sporting events should be left up to each school and its athletic department. Alcohol at sporting events tends to make fans more rambunctious. This means there needs to be more security and event staff in the event of unruly fans. If there is not adequate event staff and security, then alcohol should not be served. Alcohol sales are a great way for schools to create revenue, but it does not come without a price."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball

See what the rest of the panel had to say.

How should schools handle cutting sports teams?
SMU "This is a huge problem and can be very devastating to people affected. I remember when SMU dropped the men's track program a while back and no one on the team saw it coming. They didn't know what to do or where to go. There has to be at least some prior notification so that it gives time to athletes to sort out their future."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer

See what the rest of the panel had to say.

Should athletes have a say in rules changes?
Notre Dame "I think it would be optimal to have a student-athlete voice in the discussion of rules changes. If the changes would be implemented at the collegiate level, I feel it is critical to have the input of those student-athletes. These athletes would be able to offer valuable perspective on the various effects of different rules changes as well as contributing to the discussion of what they think needs to be revised in the rules."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse

Check out the rest of the panel's answers.

Should college athletes get more time off?
Cal "Wow, this is a double-edged sword if I've ever encountered one. My first answer is yes, of course we should get more time off. We train year-round and only get selected holidays to be with family -- possibly not even then depending on how far home is from your university. However, collegiate sports are completely voluntary. Yes, I was on full scholarship and yes, if I would have left the team I would have had to pay my own way through college, but that's the nature of life. Many times you have to sacrifice to get what you want, so I sacrificed time with family and friends in order to get an invaluable college education and compete at a championship level in one of the most competitive countries in the world. You can't train half the time and expect to compete well at the collegiate level. Sacrifice is just part of the game."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football

See what the rest of the panel had to say.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE COLLEGE SPORTS HEADLINES

MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM