The NCAA imposes limits on the total financial aid each Division I member may award in each sport that the school sponsors. It divides sports that it sponsors into two types for purposes of scholarship limitations:
“Head-count” sports, in which the NCAA limits the total number of individuals that can receive athletic scholarships, but allows each player to receive up to a full scholarship.
“Equivalency” sports, in which the NCAA limits the total financial aid that a school can offer in a given sport to the equivalent of a set number of full scholarships. Roster limitations may or may not apply, depending on the sport.
The term “counter” is also key to this concept. The NCAA defines a “counter” as “an individual who is receiving institutional financial aid that is countable against the aid limitations in a sport.”
The number of scholarships that Division I members may award in each sport is listed below.
Basketball – 13 for men, 15 for women
FBS football – 85, with an additional limit of 25 initial counters per year
Women”s gymnastics – 12
Women”s tennis – 12
Women”s volleyball – 12
Baseball – 11.7, with the following additional limitations:
A limit of 27 total counters.
A requirement that each counter receive athletic aid equal to at least 25% of a full scholarship.
FCS football – 63, with limits of 30 initial counters per year and 85 total counters
Gymnastics – 6.3
Rifle – 3.6
Note that the NCAA classifies rifle as a men”s sport, despite the fact that competitions are fully coeducational. Most rifle schools have a single coed/mixed team. Some schools have only one single-sex team for either men or women. Some other schools field multiple teams (either two single-sex teams, or a single-sex and a mixed team).
Tennis – 5.0
Volleyball – 4.5
Wrestling – 9.9