The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, often pronounced "N-C-Double-A" or "N-C-Two-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 and it is currently under the leadership of president Myles Brand. The NCAA is the largest collegiate athletic organization in the world, and due to the great popularity of college sports as spectator sports in the United States, it is far more prominent in the sports scene the United States than most national college sports bodies are in their own countries.

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. Instead, an organization named the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women governed women's collegiate sports n the United States. 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 II and 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 (coeducational), 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.

NCAA Championships編輯

The NCAA holds, or has held in the past, championship tournaments in the following sports:

The NCAA does not hold a championship tournament for Division I-A football, a state of affairs which is quite controversial. Currently, the Division I-A football "champion" is determined by the Bowl Championship Series, which uses a series of polls to determine the two teams that will play for the championship in the BCS National Championship Game. Six of the polls are based on computer models, while two are based on human voting: one of current Division I-A coaches (sponsored by USA Today), the other a mix of former players, coaches and administrators and current and former media (administered and sponsored by Harris Interactive). Despite the self-proclaimed authority of the Bowl Championship Series, the Associated Press can still confer the title of "national champion" upon a team of its own selection. Plus, unlike all other divisions and sports that the NCAA sponsors, the Division I-A football champion does not get a trophy with "NCAA" on it. In other words, the title is unofficial.

Presently, UCLA, Stanford and Southern California have the most NCAA championships. UCLA has won a combined 99 team championships in men's and women's sports.

The NCAA currently awards 88 national championships yearly; 44 women's, 41 men's, and 3 championships where men and women compete together (Fencing, Rifle, and Skiing).

Conferences 編輯

NCAA Division I-A Conferences編輯

Other NCAA Division I Conferences編輯

NCAA Division I-AA Football-Only Conferences編輯

NCAA Division I Hockey-Only Conferences編輯

Foreign Intercollegiate/Interuniversity equivalents 編輯

See also編輯

External links編輯