Student Well-Being

NCAA Participation Breaks Record With 450,000-Plus Student-Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — September 19, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A total of 453,347 student-athletes during the 2011-12 school year participated in sports for which the National Collegiate Athletic Association holds a championship, setting a new all-time record, according to the NCAA’s latest Sports Sponsorship and Participation Report published online Thursday.

The number of NCAA championship sport teams also reached a new all-time high (18,561), eclipsing the record 18,314 teams from the 2010-11 school year. There were 154 more women’s teams and 93 more men’s teams in 2011-12 compared to 2010-11, according to the report.

Overall, there’s about a 57-43 split when it comes to male versus female participation in NCAA championship sports. When you break it up by division, Division II has the greatest male-female imbalance, with 59.1 percent of all participants being males.

In Division I sports, the male-female ratio has actually been evening out over recent years, according to the report. During the 2008-09 school year, 54.5 percent of all Division I athletes in NCAA championship sports were male; in 2011-12, only 53.7 percent were.

Unlike the high school level, where boys’ sports participation actually fell by nearly 10,000 athletes in the 2011-12 school year, the NCAA experienced increases in the number of both male and female student-athletes in 2011-12. There were nearly 5,000 more males playing NCAA championship sports in 2011-12 compared to 2010-11, and approximately 4,500 more females.

You likely won’t be surprised to hear that football was the most popular sport for collegiate males, with a total of 69,643 athletes around the country. That’s more than twice as many participants as baseball, the next closest sport, which had 31,999 male athletes in 2011-12. Outdoor track and field (26,416), indoor track and field (23,183) and soccer (22,573) were the other three most popular sports for males this past school year.

Notably, unlike at the high school level, male football participation rose from 2010-11 to 2011-12 by nearly 2,000 athletes. According to the most recent data from the National Federation of State High School Associations, high school male football participation dropped by over 12,000 student-athletes last school year.

For females, outdoor track and field led the way in 2011-12 with 26,227 total athletes, followed closely by soccer (25,164), indoor track and field (24,262), softball (18,505), basketball (16,134), and volleyball (15,890). Cross-country (15,483), swimming and diving (12,206), tennis (8,977), and lacrosse (8,482) rounded out the top 10 most popular NCAA championship sports teams for females.

The NCAA pulled out highlights from the report here, for anyone who’s interested in more detail.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Shutterstock
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Child Hospitalizations Spike Under Delta, Particularly in Low-Vaccination States
Nationwide, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to COVID-19 has ballooned nearly tenfold since midsummer, new CDC data show.
2 min read
hopital stethescope 1222194507
Aleksandr Titov/iStock/Getty