History and Teams

The NCAA’s roots can be traced back to New England, where the first collegiate sporting event was held when Harvard beat Yale in a two-mile barge race. But it was the desire to standardize football that led to Princeton inviting Harvard, Yale and Columbia to join the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA) in 1876. One of the first ancestors of the NCAA, the IFA provided the member schools with a place to discuss the sport and the regulations they would abide by. The IFA eventually transformed into the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) and the organization, which held an education role only at that time, changed its name to the NCAA in 1910.  Read more at http://www.franbecque.com/2013/08/21/rah-rah-sis-boom-bah-the-birth-of-college-sports-and-the-ncaa/

There are a total of 23 sports governed by the NCAA. Hundreds of schools compete in the sports at the Division I, II and III levels throughout the academic year. There are 16 sports available for men and 17 for women, while fencing, rifle and skiing have mixed teams. The sports are split into three seasons: fall, winter and spring. Men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo all take place in the fall. The winter season features men’s and women’s basketball, bowling, fencing, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s ice hockey, rifle, skiing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and wrestling. Baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, rowing, men’s and women’s tennis, outdoor track and field, men’s volleyball and women’s water polo are all played in the spring. Read more at http://youngadults.about.com/od/collegeprep/g/ncaasports.htm

NCAA athletics is split into three divisions. Division I is the most competitive and profitable of the three, including all of the biggest colleges in the country. There are a variety of differences that exist between the three divisions. For example, Division I schools have more opportunities for student-athletes to earn scholarships while Division II schools have a maximum amount of aid that they are allowed to provide student-athletes. Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships. In both Division II and Division III, schools are required to sponsor at least five men’s teams and five women’s teams, while Division I institutions must offer seven for men and seven for women (or eight for women and six for men). All schools must offer at least two sports for both men and women. Read more at http://www.collegesportsscholarships.com/ncaa-divisions-differences.htm

Conferences and Teams
Each division of NCAA athletics is separated into a group of conferences in which teams are geographically distributed as members.  At the Division I level, conferences have been growing in hopes of continuing to make more money and turn more of a profit - especially with their respective football programs. As conferences are growing and some are forced to disappear, there are questions about whether or not this model is better or not. Read more at https://www.econ.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Trevor%20Abbott%


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