What are the NCAA, the NAIA, the NJCAA and the NWAACC?
College athletics are governed by organizations that look like alphabet salad. So what are
these things anyway?
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC)
National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
These governing bodies decide the rules and regulations that keep the various sports and
teams in line with what the organizations and their members determine are appropriate.
The NCAA is the largest and best known of these. Regardless of which organization
governs the school you decide to attend, it is critical that you understand and abide by the
eligibility requirements for that organization. In general, if you meet the eligibility
requirements to be an NCAA Division I athlete, you will be eligible for the other
organizations as well. However, you should check with each organization to be certain.
It is also beneficial to be qualified academically to be admitted to the school of your
choice as a regular student would be. Athletic departments look favorably on recruits
who are academically eligible to meet their university’s admissions standards.
On the following pages you will find information on each of these organizations:
Thoughts on NAIA and NCAA Division III schools – these are generally smaller schools
that don’t receive the national coverage but have every bit the tradition and history as the
major colleges. Division III schools are not allowed to award athletic scholarships but
more athletes play in Division II schools than any other and they generally offer some of
the finest educations.
NWAACC is the association that most of the Northwest’s community colleges belong
to, including C.B.C. The member institutions have their own tournaments in a variety of
NJCAA is not predominant in the Northwest and includes North Idaho College,
College of Southern Idaho, Salt Lake Community etc. NJCAA have national
tournaments in a variety of sports and their own rules and regulations.