The Division I Council introduced legislative proposals today that would change membership requirements for Football Bowl Subdivision schools and also the cost to transition into the FBS.
Among those proposals are removing the existing football attendance requirements at FBS schools, and also a hefty increase in the fee to transition from FCS to FBS.
The council introduced new legislation that would increase the fee to transition from FCS to FBS from $5,000 to $5 million. If adopted, the change would be effective immediately for schools initiating the transition process from that point forward. The fee would be reassessed regularly.
Schools already transitioning to the FBS right now, like Kennesaw State, would not be impacted. But any school starting the FBS transition after this potential upcoming approval would see this fee change. It certainly could change the mind of some, but not all, institutions on making the jump. Of course, a conference invite first has to be presented.
It also sends a message that the FBS wants its subdivision to be tougher to get into, as many believe the FBS is too big already. The potential fee increase also makes the idea of multiple FCS schools making the jump together an even taller task and an idealistic discussion.
As far as the attendance requirement change … it may be replaced with a scholarship requirement.
All FBS schools would be required to provide 90% of the total number of allowable scholarships over a two-year rolling period across at least 16 sports, including football. Schools also would be required to offer at least 210 scholarships each year, amounting to no less than $6 million in athletics scholarships offered.
These requirements would take effect Aug. 1, 2027, for existing FBS members and for schools already transitioning to FBS membership. Moving forward, for schools applying to transition to FBS beginning in 2024-25 and thereafter, the requirements would have to be met by the end of the two-year transition process.
If these requirements are adopted, previously existing requirements for football attendance at FBS schools would be removed, effective immediately. FBS teams currently have to meet minimum attendance requirements (average 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game), which must be met once in a rolling two-year period.