What Is The NAIA?
Start writing a post
Sports

What Is The NAIA?

A brief explanation of an unknown and misunderstood intercollegiate association

319
What Is The NAIA?
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

Before transferring to Taylor University, I didn’t know the NAIA existed. In a world full of ESPN highlights from big NCAA Division I schools, NAIA schools are almost nonexistent in the media and therefore unknown to most of the public. If you’re a high school senior shopping for colleges, a disgruntled college student looking for a new opportunity, or someone shocked at the existence of alternate to the NCAA, then this article is for you. Here’s a simple explanation of the NAIA:

NAIA = National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The NAIA is an athletic association created in 1937 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Each year, over 60,000 student athletes compete in NAIA collegiate athletics. Over 250 colleges and 21 conferences are associated with the NAIA. Of these programs, over $500 million is administered in athletic scholarships. The NAIA prides itself on its mission for character building through athletics. These aspects include: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership (NAIA.org).

Different rules

The NCAA is an organization filled with a lot of red tape for the collegiate athlete. The NAIA is a more lenient collegiate association. Without going into great detail, the NAIA allows more practice time, more interaction between athletes and coaches outside of practice, foreign professionals, and no drug tests. NAIA schools also have fewer restrictions for recruiting compared to the NCAA (NAIA v. NCAA). Also, unlike NCAA DIII, NAIA schools are allowed to give athletic scholarships.

Private and religious affiliation

A majority of NAIA schools are affiliated with a religion or religious institution. About 81% of schools are private in the NAIA, and many of these are associated with the Christian religion (NAIA Stats). This provides some benefits for student athletes. For example, NAIA schools are not required to play on Sundays. During my athlete days at Taylor University -- a Christian school -- I never played a game on a Sunday.

Small school, small town

Many NAIA schools hold anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand students. The average enrollment per school in the entire NAIA is 1,700 students (NAIA stats). Their campuses are in small towns you’ve never heard of and in places you’ve never visited. Smaller enrollment means smaller classrooms and more opportunities to develop personal relationships with professors and faculty. Many NAIA schools are liberal arts institutions and provide a variety of major opportunities and on-campus activities.

Is the NAIA right for you?

The NAIA is the right organization for you if you can say "yes" to most or all of these categories:

  1. I want to live on a small campus and don’t mind a small town atmosphere.
  2. I want my professor to know my name, and I want to know a lot of people on campus.
  3. I want to have more time to practice my sport and have more opportunities for instruction from my coaches.
  4. I’m looking for a school with a religious affiliation so I can grow in my faith.
  5. I want to compete at a high level of competition and while growing as a person intellectually, physically and spiritually.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

6931
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

9439
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

6757
We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

5469
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments