What Sports Are Like at a Division III University


I get a lot of questions about what it's like playing sports at a Division III school, and what the perception is of athletes on campus. People want to know if students support teams, if the teams are any good, what it takes to be on a team, and just generally what it's like to play sports here at UR. So this post is strictly to give a brief overview of some of the key facts you should know about sports at Rochester.

How many varsity teams are on campus?

We have 23 varsity teams on campus. 11 male teams and 12 female teams.

Are the teams "any good"?

Our teams feature outstanding athletes from all over the US and other countries. Each team is extremely dedicated, and they take their sport very seriously. We have teams like men's soccer, men's basketball, field hockey, and squash who are continually nationally ranked in their respective sports. But don't take for granted the other sports here. Football is having one of its best seasons in history this year as they are now 5-2 on the season. Cross-country (both men's and women's) are always toward the top of their respective leagues, as are swimming, volleyball and women's basketball. If you just take a little time to look at the each program, you will find that our school really has great teams across the board.

Do people go to games?

People certainly go to games. Not only do athletes support athletes, but students on campus also frequent all kinds of different sporting events. We also have events like "Fill Fauver" and "Pack the Palestra," which are special nights to really encourage large turnouts. I know personally we love Fill Fauver nights, because the band will come, Rocky, our mascot, will be there, and the fans will be extra crazy and loud.

Do athletes get a special advantage in getting in to school?

A lot of people think that if you are an athlete you don't have to meet the same requirements that another applicants may be expected to meet. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Athletes can't get scholarships to go here, and they need to meet the same requirements, and excel in the classroom just like everyone else. You will see athletes doing undergraduate research, being TAs, studying abroad, and taking advantage of all kinds of academic opportunities here at UR. Just last week, the All Academic teams came out for the five participating sports in the UAA for the fall, and Rochester had 51 athletes named to this. To make this, you must have completed at least one full year of school and maintained a 3.3 or higher cumulative GPA. This just shows the Yellow Jackets get after it on the field and in the classroom.

How do you get involved in playing a sport?

The best method that I have seen is to get in contact with coaches early. Most teams having recruiting questionnaires on their pages on our website, which are a great chance to put your name in front of coaches. Also, send emails and just talk to the coaches. You should start this around your junior year in high school, and you really do not want to wait until you show up on campus!

More questions? Check out Rochester's athletics website!

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Griffin Drake

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