Dude, at some large universities there’s more than one JV team in some sports.
It would be kinda silly to be a college sports powerhouse without some sort of system to draw talent from. Obviously a small college might not have enough interested students to form two full teams. That’s also why the NCAA has several divisions.
My high school had JV teams in most sports, and yes we did compete against other JV teams in our division. I didn’t play sports in college, but I went to an extremely nerdy Division III school, anyway.
Well, but where they draw talent from is mainly the high school ranks. I’ve never heard of a college coach looking to find sophomore or junior talent from among players he hadn’t originally recruited (or allowed to walk on).
Can you give some examples of large universities that have a separate JV team (not busting your chops, just never heard of this)? Because the varsity team has 85 scholarship players in, say, football, plus often many walk-ons. How would the walk-ons bypass a separate JV team?
If you are talking about club or intramural teams, that’s an entirely different matter. When I say junior varsity, I mean (as I originally understood the term in the context of high schools) a separate (and less-equal) team, under the supervision of the Athletic Department (which club sports and intramurals never are, AFAIK), competing against counterpart JV teams from other schools.
My understanding is that teams like that wear the school’s colors and uniforms but the individuals pick up the cost of playing. Occasionally, a varsity coach will take on one of these players but it is not the norm.
Here is an article from one of ESPN’s Page 2 columnists about his one shot at varisty after four years of IVY League JV ball at UPenn. It gives a good look into the differences between college varsity and JV
Also, some colleges have a no-cut policy. If you go out for a sport, show up for every practice and don’t violate any rules you stay on the team. It’s a waste of time if really aren’t good enough but some do it. Usually this means that they will dress you for at least one game a season. That doesn’t mean that you will get any playing time. Notre Dame had this policy, I don’t know if it is still in effect. That’s what “Rudy” was all about.
So some schools may maintain a JV squad but whether they play any meaningful games is in question.
Note that the article cited by CirleofWillis said they played some prep schools which are essentially high schools that have elite athletic programs.