Any HBCU looking to move up from the FCS to the FBS will have to pony up a lot more money moving forward.
The new rules eliminate attendance requirements at FBS schools, effective immediately. But it also increases the fee to move up from $5,000 to $5 million — effective immediately.
The NCAA will require all FBS programs to provide 90 percent of the total number of allowable scholarships over a two-year rolling period across 16 sports, including football. FBS schools will also be required to fund 210 scholarships each year, amounting to no less than $6 million annually (effective August 2027).
There are currently 21 HBCU football programs in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision — 12 programs in the SWAC, six in the MEAC, two in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) and Tennesseee State in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Tennessee State was originally a member of Division I-A, the current FBS, after the initial D1 split in the late 1970s. It later transitioned to Division I-AA and joined its current conference. Florida A&M spent one season transitioning as a Division I-A independent before scrapping the idea.
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