By Emarius Logan, Staff Writer
Every high school basketball player dreams of playing basketball at the highest collegiate level when they graduate. The goal for many is to get that big-time Division I offer to play at the next level.
I’ve had the opportunity to play at both the Division I and the Division II level. I played at Division I Appalachian State University in Boone for two years before deciding to transfer and finish up at Wingate.
There are some major differences, two being in the financial benefits and the off-season program.
Basketball programs at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level of Division I benefit tremendously from their school’s participation at that level. Schools at the Division I level offer 13 full basketball scholarships while at the Division II level they offer only 10 full scholarships.
At App State you were allowed to get refund checks back from your financial aid as well as to receive a cost-of-attendance stipend from the athletic department. App State is in a lower-level FBS conference (Sun Belt), so the stipend was not as large as at some bigger programs. You could receive anywhere from $3,500 to $9,500 for the year depending on your financial aid refund.
Any financial aid received at Wingate is applied to tuition, room and board so the only way to get a cash refund is to take out a student loan.
The other major difference is in the rules as they relate to offseason workouts and practice. Division I schools are allowed six full-time assistant coaches as compared to two at the Division II level. So off-season as well as in-season workouts are more intense and in-depth due to the more limited individual contact with a coach.
At App State, players could work out six hours a week with a coach — two hours of individual workouts, two hours of team practice and two hours of weight training. At Wingate, you’re not allowed to work out with coaches at all during the off-season, including summer.
All your development as a player during that time has to come on your own, because the rules don’t allow this to happen.
Emarius Logan will be a senior on the Wingate University men’s basketball team during the 2018-19 season. He is from Columbia, S.C.