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Here's one why D-II school is making a big bet...on Ultimate Frisbee

Good morning, and thanks for your patience and continued support of Extra Points.

It's not uncommon for smaller schools to sponsor large numbers of varsity sports programs. D-I schools like Lindenwood, Queens and Sacred Heart sponsor more sports than most P5 programs, and there are D-II and D-III schools sponsoring just as many. These institutions field huge departments not just to chase trophies, but to help recruit and retain students. Tuition money can be even more valuable than ticket revenue, after all.

So it isn't surprising to see smaller schools often at the forefront of sponsoring and championing new sports. Smaller universities have been much quicker to support sports like bowling, women's wrestling or acrobatics than Big Ten or SEC schools. D-II institutions were also often quicker to take esports seriously.

But one D-II school has decided to make a big bet on a completely different sport. Ultimate Frisbee.

Earlier this month, Davenport University, a D-II school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, announced that they're launching competitive men's and women's frisbee teams for 2023, squads that will not only offer scholarships, but will have full-time head coaches, and operate under the athletic department.

There are hundreds of schools with Ultimate Frisbee teams. But Davenport will be the first to offer scholarships and full-time coaches. Oklahoma Christian also offers scholarships, but their coaches are part-time.

Is this just a tuition thing, or is something else at play? And how on earth do you start a competitive program for a sport that doesn't already have a supporting infrastructure?

I called Mike Zaagman, the program's new men's team head coach, to find out.

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