NCAA Division I FCS independent schools
|NCAA||Division I FCS|
|Schools||1 (none in 2015)|
|Sports fielded||1 (men's: 1; women's: 0)|
NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision independent schools are four-year institutions in the United States whose football programs are not part of a football conference. This does not mean that FCS independents schedule each other for competition as conference schools do.
|Institution||Location||Founded||Type||Enrollment||Nickname||Future Conference||Year Leaving|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte)||Charlotte, NC||1946||Public||25,063||49ers||C-USA||2015|
Charlotte began play in 2013 and is spending its first two seasons as an FCS independent. Charlotte rejoined Conference USA (C-USA) in 2013 (it had been a charter member of that conference in 1995, but left in 2005), and will become a football member in 2015.
Five other schools had competed as FCS independents in the 2013 season, but joined football conferences in July 2014:
- Old Dominion (ODU), which began a transition to FBS in 2013, became a football member of Conference USA, which it had joined as a full but non-football member in 2013. As a second-year transitional school that had a pre-existing FCS program (unlike Charlotte, which did not start its football program until announcing its FBS transition in 2013), ODU is counted as an FBS member for scheduling purposes in 2014. It will become a full FBS member in 2015.
- Monmouth left the Northeast Conference (NEC) for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), which does not sponsor football, in July 2013. In February 2013, the Big South Conference announced that the Monmouth football team would become a single-sport associate member beginning with the 2014 season. Monmouth played as an FCS independent in 2013 in order to better manage its transition from the NEC, which limits its members to 40 full scholarship equivalents, to the Big South, which allows the FCS maximum of 63.
- The other three schools, all of which had joined the Southland Conference (SLC) as full but non-football members in 2013, became football members of that conference.
- Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word had established football programs; they started transitions from Division II to Division I upon joining the SLC. Both played schedules mostly made up of teams from the SLC and their former Division II league, the Lone Star Conference. They began full transitions to Division I status in football in 2014 and will become eligible for the Southland title and the FCS playoffs beginning with the 2018 season.
- Houston Baptist (HBU) played a partial schedule as an FCS independent in 2013. HBU was not eligible for the FCS playoffs, but that season did not count against eligibility for the team players. HBU is fully eligible for the SLC title and the FCS playoffs from 2014 forward.
|Charlotte||Jerry Richardson Stadium||15,314|
Former FCS independents
The following is a complete list of teams which have been Division I-AA/FCS Independents since the formation of Division I-AA in 1978. The "Current Conference" column indicates affiliations for the upcoming 2014 college football season.
Teams in italics are current FBS members; this includes second-year transitional schools that are counted as FBS for scheduling purposes but not bowl game eligibility.
- Arkansas State has been a full Sun Belt member since 1991, but the conference did not sponsor football until 2001.
- Austin Peay only departed OVC football; it remained a full but non-football member before returning to OVC football in 2007.
- The conference now known as the Patriot League began in 1986 as the football-only Colonial League. It adopted its current name in 1990, when it became an all-sports conference.
- Buffalo became a full member of the MAC in 1998, but was not a football member until 1999.
- The Great West Conference began in 2004 as the Great West Football Conference. It became an all-sports conference in 2008.
- Delaware has been a full CAA member since 2001. However, the CAA did not sponsor football until 2007, when it effectively took over the football league previously sponsored by the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10).
- The CAA football conference is the direct successor of both the Yankee Conference and A10 football conference. The football-only Yankee Conference was absorbed by the A10 after the 1996 season. After the 2006 season, the A10 dropped football after all of its football members joined the newly formed CAA football conference. The Yankee Conference's automatic bid to the I-AA/FCS playoffs passed in succession to the A10 and CAA.
- The MVFC did not adopt its current name until 2008. Before then, it was known as the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1993) and Gateway Football Conference (1993–2008).
- James Madison and William & Mary have been CAA members since the conference's establishment in 1979. However, the CAA did not sponsor football until 2007, when it effectively took over the football league previously sponsored by the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10).
- Liberty has been a full member of the Big South since 1991, but the conference did not sponsor football until 2002.
- South Alabama has been a Sun Belt member from the conference's creation in 1976. However, the Sun Belt did not sponsor football until 2001. South Alabama did not start a football program until 2009, and did not play Sun Belt football until 2012.
- The original Big East Conference split into the football-sponsoring American Athletic Conference and a new non-football Big East Conference in 2013. South Florida remained with the FBS schools in The American.
- Southeastern Louisiana dropped football after the 1985 season.
- Towson was a CAA member at the conference's formation in 1979, but left in 1981; after having been a member of four other conferences, it rejoined the CAA in 2001. However, the CAA did not sponsor football until 2007, when it effectively took over the football league previously sponsored by the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10).
- Troy joined the Sun Belt for football in 2004, and became an all-sports member in 2005.
- UAB was a charter member of Conference USA at its creation in 1995, but did not join for football until 1999.
- NCAA Division I FBS independent schools
- NCAA Division I independent schools (basketball)
- NCAA Division I independent schools (ice hockey)
- NCAA Division II independent schools
- NCAA Division III independent schools
- NAIA independent schools
- Schlabach, Mark (June 24, 2011). "49ers preparing for Charlotte market". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- "Big South Adds Monmouth University as Associate Football Member" (Press release). Big South Conference. February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.