Train. Compete. Study.
College sport in America is a huge industry that brings together sport and education on a scale unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Student-athletes who compete in this system have the opportunity to play their sport on a full-time basis whilst working towards a degree in their preferred field. They have the opportunity to compete across the nation, in some fantastic facilities with multiple full-time coaches. Student-athletes are given all the resources they need to ensure that they meet their full potential in both the sporting arena and their chosen area of academics.
Whilst student-athletes train and compete to a level where a professional contract could become an option upon graduation, they also remain in full-time education, working towards a bachelor degree to ensure they have a possible career outside of the playing arena, should their sport not work out.
The McLeod Center, home to the University of Nothern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a 7,000-plus seat venue and provides year-round training opportunities for Panther student-athletes and currently houses both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and women’s volleyball.
America's Major Sporting Leagues
College sport also links closely with many of America’s major sporting leagues, where annual drafts see college players selected to begin their professional careers in the NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB and NHL. Across many sports, there are global icons that started their professional careers at the college level. Michael Jordan played basketball for the University of North Carolina, Clint Dempsey played soccer at Furman University whilst Tiger Woods played two years of golf for Stanford University.
The Governing Bodies of College Sport
The major sanctioning organizations of college sport in America include the NCAA, the NAIA and the NJCAA.
You can find out more about each organisation below:
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The NCAA is a non-profit organisation which regulates athletes of 1,281 institutions and conferences across the United States and Canada. It organises the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes every year who compete in college sports.
- Institutions are divided into 3 divisions: Division I, II, and III.
- Currently awards 90 national championships yearly in a variety of sports.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Founded in 1940, the NAIA is an athletic association that organizes college and university-level athletic programs, primarily across the U.S. It currently conducts 26 annual championships (14 for men, 12 for women) and recognizes three levels of competitions: emerging, invitational and championship.
As of July 1, 2016, the NAIA reports having 250 member institutions.
- Each year more than 65,000 NAIA student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports and earn over $600 million in scholarships.
- As of 2018, there are currently 26 national championships within the NAIA.
National Junior College Athletic Association
The NJCAA was founded in 1938 and is an association of community college and junior college athletic departments throughout the United States. Each institution belonging to the NJCAA chooses to compete on the Division I, II or III level in over fifteen designated sports.
Division I colleges may offer full athletic scholarships a maximum of tuition, Division II colleges are limited to awarding tuition while Division III institutions may provide no athletically related financial assistance.
- In 2016, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton from Blinn (Texas) became the second former NJCAA student-athlete to be named NFL MVP.
- At the 2012 Summer Olympics, 59 current and former NJCAA student-athletes competed, collecting 2 gold medals, 6 silver and 3 bronze.
Which one is right for me? Upon submitting your information, we will advise you on where we believe you would fit best having taken all of the information you have provided us into consideration. Contact us today to get started!
If you feel that you have what it takes to play college sport in America, please submit your information via our online application form today.