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NCAA creates new labels for football subdivisions

Don't be confused by the new labels.

Three classifications -- Division I-A, I-AA and I-AAA -- were used to differentiate the administration of a school's football program until last year, when the NCAA officially declared them to be out of bounds.

Since Dec. 15, the NCAA has promoted obscure, new references to the three football subdivisions of Division I.

Division I-A was changed to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Division I-AA is known as NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and NCAA Division I-AAA, which identified Division I schools that don't sponsor football programs, was switched simply to Division I.

In the district, football programs at three schools (Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia) are classified as FBS, while four (Duquesne; St. Francis, Pa.; Robert Morris and Youngstown State) are classified as FCS.

The NCAA says that references to all other Division I sports will remain the same.

The reason for the changes?

The NCAA, in a release, insists that the former Division I-A, I-AA and I-AAA designations were confusing and, as a result, misapplied by college football fans and the media when referring to football programs.

Further, it says that because of greater awareness of specific conferences and schools, the I-A label rarely was emphasized by the I-A membership, causing confusion over the I-AA classification.

The NCAA said the new initiative, approved by presidents and chancellors who comprise the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, wasn't intended to confuse or devalue the importance of the Bowl Championship Series format.

Golf winners

Clarion junior Justin Cameron won the final Heritage Tour qualifying event last week at Birdsfoot Golf Club in Freeport to advance to the Pittsburgh Regional Championship on Tuesday at Quicksilver Golf Club.

Also qualifying were Nate Bilski of Butler County Community College, who finished second, and Michael Fritz, who will be a freshman at Clarion in the fall, was third.

The tour is a college-level event designed to provide a competitive atmosphere during the offseason.

Hall inductions

Induction ceremonies for seven new members of the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame take place prior to the Mountaineers' non-conference game against East Carolina on Sept. 22 at Milan Puskar Stadium. The new inductees include Rich Braham, Jerry Holmes, Robert "Bob" Moss and Fred "Jack" Simons (football) and Tom Lowry, Harry "Moo" Moore and Georgeann Wells (men's basketball).

Elsewhere, nine new inductees make up the latest class at California (Pa.) and will be recognized during an Oct. 19 ceremony on campus.

They are Tomas Boltnar (men's soccer), Mike Bradley (cross country and track and field), Sarah Cassin (softball), Tim Loomis and Kenney Toomer (men's basketball), Fleming Mosely III (football), Sherry Valera (women's soccer), Randy Wadsworth (baseball) and Bruce Wald (sports information).

Members of the school's 1997 and '98 NCAA Division II softball championship teams also will be honored.

District musings

Former Seton Hill pitcher Rick Austin recorded a victory and two saves in three recent appearances with the Single-A Williamsports Crosscutters, a Philadelphia Phillies minor-league team. ... Washington & Jefferson is ranked No. 19 in the D3football.com preseason top 25 poll.

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