THE NAIA-PROVIDING BALANCED ATHLETIC PROGRAMS FOR MORE THAN 65,000 STUDENT-ATHLETES!
Throughout its history, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)has provided strong leadership for all aspects of intercollegiate sports. Since its introduction of intercollegiate championship basketball in 1937, the NAIA has maintained the highest standards while administering first-rate athletics programs.
Time and time again, the NAIA has stepped forward to address the important issues of the day-be it racial integration in the '40s and '50's or establishing the first women's championship program in 1980. The NAIA has not been afraid to enact changes while others have watched and waited.
In the past decade, presidents of the NAIA colleges and universities have assumed a position of responsible leadership. The NAIA's Council of Presidents, the organizations primary governing body, is comprised of 32 college and university presidents from all regions of the United States.
With its major emphasis on educational development, it was natural for the NAIA to further strengthen academic eligibility requirements in the mid-'80s. All NAIA participation student-athletes must maintain a certain grade-point-average(GPA)while accumulating credit hours for a declared academic degree. Unlike other associations, NAIA student-athlete academic eligibility is monitored on a semester-by-semester basis.
The All-America Scholar-Athlete program, a long standing NAIA tradition, recognizes junior and senior student-athletes with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.00 scale). This past year, nearly 600 NAIA student-athletes were so honored, representing 220 member institutions. Since 1937, the NAIA has administered athletics programs and championships in proper balance with the overall collegiate educational experience. Serving higher education in this manner is a responsibility the NAIA does not take lightly. It is a relationship built on confidence and trust-a relationship strengthened year after year. The future of 65,000 young people is too important to handle any other way.
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SEPTEMBER 14, 1999