Choose a college for more than just its sports division

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Kari Truax at [email protected]


At a school where State titles are the norm and many athletes are bound for a division one collegiate career before they set foot on a CHS court or field, athletes committed to division two and three schools can feel unimportant. As a senior, almost every time I open Instagram, I find myself liking another athlete’s collegiate commitment post with “#D1” in the description. Just this week, I liked three. However, when publically announcing my own athletic commitment via social media, I omitted a “#D3”, feeling it would detract from the significance of my post in the eyes of my peers. Why, if I chose the school and program I felt would benefit me best academically and socially, should I feel reluctant to announce that I will be playing in a division 3 program?

Next fall I will be playing volleyball at Wittenberg University, a small liberal arts school in Springfield, Ohio with a strong athletics program. The minute I stepped foot on campus, I knew it was the school for me. The campus was beautiful and the school had everything I wanted for my academic experience. After meeting the team and practicing in the gym, being a Witt Tiger became a dream of mine. I was not concerned with the division; I had fallen in love with everything the school had to offer.

As a division three commit, I have lost count of the times I have heard, “well it’s only D3.” While it is a division three team, the Wittenberg women’s volleyball team won the National Championship in 2011 and one of the top 10 division three teams this season. In addition to the opportunity to play for a shot at a National Championship, I will also be able to enjoy college. As an athlete, I will be able to be a part of a sorority and have the chance to study abroad. If needed, I could even miss practice if it conflicts with my academics. In a division one school, I would be restricted from having these experiences.

According to Sports Recruiting USA, athletes who play division one sports have to be willing to sacrifice their time and some of their normal college experience. Throughout my time at CHS I have found many interests such as a passion for working with kids and being a part of the HiLite. By committing to a division three school, I will get the opportunity to play volleyball, work with children in an elementary education program, and continue to write for the school newspaper. Sports Recruiting USA also said that many athletes who pursue a division one scholarship are limited to just their sport. For many, that’s a dream, but for me, volleyball is not my life. I will get a “college” experience while playing the game I have grown up loving. My passion and love for the game has allowed me to not let the “norm” at CHS get in the way of chasing my dreams. One day I hope to teach elementary education and be a coach. Getting the opportunity to play volleyball at Wittenberg will allow me to continue to enjoy the game I love, but I will also be able to be a student, a mentor, and a friend. There will always be someone picking at division three athletes, but I know I am doing what I love and surrounding myself with peers who have the same goals as I do.IMG_3375