National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, often said "NC-Double-A") is a voluntary association of about 1200 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletics programs of many colleges and universities in the United States. Its headquarters are currently located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Its predecessor, the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), was established on March 31, 1906 to set rules for amateur sports in the United States. Its creation was urged by then-president Theodore Roosevelt in reaction to his concern over the growing amount of serious injuries and deaths occurring in collegiate football. The IAAUS later became the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.
Up until the 1980s the association did not offer women's athletics. By 1982 however, all divisions of the NCAA offered national championship events for women's athletics and most members of the AIAW joined the NCAA.
In 1973, the NCAA split its membership into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in III. Division I football is further divided into I-A and I-AA.
The NCAA's legislative structure is broken down into cabinets and committees, consisting of various representatives of its member schools. These may be broken down further into sub-committees. Legislation is then passed on to the Management Council, which oversees all the cabinets and committees, and also includes representatives from the schools, such as athletic directors and faculty advisors. Management Council legislation goes on to the Board of Directors, which consists of school presidents, for final approval.
The NCAA staff itself provides support, acting as guides, liaison, research and public and media relations. The current NCAA president is Myles Brand, former school president of Indiana University.
Sports sanctioned by the NCAA include basketball, baseball (men), softball (women), football (men), cross country, field hockey (women), bowling (women), golf, fencing (coeducational), lacrosse, soccer, gymnastics, rowing (women's), volleyball, ice hockey, water polo, rifle (coeducational), tennis, skiing, track & field, swimming & diving, and wrestling (men's).
The NCAA is not the only collegiate athletic organization in the United States. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is another collegiate athletic organization.
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Foreign Intercollegiate/Interuniversity equivalents
- British Universities Sports Association
- Canadian Interuniversity Sport (formerly CIAU) for Canada
- University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines) (NCAA) for Philippines (among other leagues)