What Is The NCAA And What Does It Do?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a huge nonprofit that runs a number of sports programs in order to help hundreds of thousands of college athletes make a name for themselves and get through college simultaneously–and that they do. The vast organization covers a tremendous number of men’s and women’s sports ranging from baseball, basketball, and football to bowling, fencing, rowing, and skiing.

By 2010, the NCAA decided to ensure diversity by adopting an LGBT inclusion policy, showing its commitment to all college athletes who wish to excel regardless of their sexual orientation. Because of a line of discriminatory new laws in North Carolina, the organization chose to axe its championship events in that state from 2016-2017. North Carolina has suffered a number of consequences because of these new policies, but could suffer more in the future. The state may not be able to bid on events that are scheduled to take place from 2019 all the way to 2022. Needless to say, this greatly affects the athletes who choose to seek education in North Carolina.

There are those who have alleged the NCAA runs college sports the same way that the Mexican cartels run drug operations. This is because some of its schools’ athletes have attempted to use their names and likenesses for profit after hitting the big times. While that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, it didn’t stop the NCAA from getting involved in order to prevent those athletes from receiving the compensation they thought they deserved. Some believe this violates antitrust laws.

The lawsuits that inevitably came about because of these interactions between the NCAA and the players suggested that the NCAA is a cartel simply because of its vast collective ability to govern and coordinate the activities of so many, while promoting an agenda that could be seen as unfair to the player. After all, the NCAA itself has no problem finding ways of generating revenue. Whether or not the lawsuits had a point, they got away from the more important aspects of nonprofit organizations like the NCAA.

Sure, it regulates thousands of athletes from a whopping 1,281 institutions and other organizations–the umbrella extends farther and wider than most of us could imagine. Because it’s so huge, it generates massive sums of money (nearly a billion back in 2014, for example). But because the NCAA is nonprofit, most of that revenue gets pushed back to thousands of other institutions who need it.

Even though some controversy has sparked over NCAA practices, that’s no reason to dismiss all the good it has done for so many young athletes who are looking to better themselves both in and out of the classroom, on and off the field.