NCAA Division I FCS independent schools
|NCAA||Division I FCS|
|Schools||(6 in 2013, 1 in 2014)|
|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|
|Monmouth University||West Long Branch, NJ||1933||Private||7,440||Hawks||Big South||2014|
|Old Dominion University||Norfolk, VA||1930||Public||24,125||Monarchs||C-USA||2014|
|Houston Baptist University||Houston, TX||1960||Private||2,567||Huskies||Southland||2014|
|Abilene Christian University||Abilene, TX||1906||Private||4,558||Wildcats||Southland||2014|
|University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio, TX||1881||Private||8,455||Cardinals||Southland||2014|
- Abilene Christian will play in the Southland Conference for all sports except football in 2013. NCAA rules prevent schools from having different sports play in different divisions, so Abilene Christian will play as an FCS independent, mostly with teams from the Division II Lone Star Conference and Division I Southland Conference. They will begin a full transition to Division I status in football in 2014 and become eligible for the Southland title and the playoffs beginning with the 2018 season.
- Charlotte will begin play in 2013 and spend at least their first two seasons as an FCS independent. They will rejoin Conference USA (C-USA) in 2013 (they had been a charter member of that conference in 1995, but left in 2005), and will become a football member in 2015.
- Houston Baptist will join the Southland Conference for all sports except football in 2013, while playing as an FCS independent. They will not be eligible for the FCS playoffs, but the first year will not count against eligibility for the team players. Houston Baptist will join the Southland Conference for football in 2014 and become eligible for all events at that time.
- Incarnate Word will play in the Southland Conference for all sports except football in 2013. NCAA rules prevent schools from having different sports play in different divisions, so Incarnate Word will play as an FCS independent, mostly with teams from the Division II Lone Star Conference and Division I Southland Conference. They will begin a full transition to Division I status in football in 2014 and become eligible for the Southland title and the playoffs beginning with the 2018 season.
- 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 Monmouth would become a football-only member beginning with the 2014 season. Monmouth will play 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.
- Old Dominion is transitioning from FCS to FBS as a part of their 2013 move to C-USA. They will be a FCS independent in 2013, and will be counted as an FBS member for scheduling purposes in 2014. Originally, they were not to become a football member of C-USA until 2015, but the league later voted to make ODU a football member in 2014.
|Abilene Christian||Shotwell Stadium||15,075|
|Charlotte||Jerry Richardson Stadium†||15,314|
|Houston Baptist||Crusader Stadium††||TBA|
|Incarnate Word||Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium||6,000|
|Old Dominion||Foreman Field||19,818|
† Will be completed in 2013.
†† Will be completed in 2013, with projected capacity of 8,000-10,000.
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 next college football season of 2013.
Teams in italics are current FBS members.
- 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.
- 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.
- Georgia Southern will begin an FBS transition in the 2013 season in advance of its 2014 move to the Sun Belt Conference. It will be eligible for the Sun Belt championship but not for bowl games in 2014, and will become a full FBS member in 2015.
- 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 current Big East will split in July 2013 with the departure of the league's seven non-FBS schools, which have purchased the Big East name. The remaining schools, including South Florida, will retain the original Big East charter, but will operate as the American Athletic Conference.
- 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.
- Western Kentucky has been a full Sun Belt member since leaving the OVC in 1982, but was not a football member until 2009. WKU will leave the Sun Belt for Conference USA in 2014.
- 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.