Founded more than one hundred years ago as a way to protect student-athletes, the NCAA continues to implement that principle with increased emphasis on both athletics and academic excellence.
The NCAA is made up of three membership classifications that are known as Divisions I, II and III. Each division creates its own rules governing personnel, amateurism, recruiting, eligibility, benefits, financial aid, and playing and practice seasons – consistent with the overall governing principles of the Association. Every program must affiliate its core program with one of the three divisions.
The NCAA national office has been located in Indianapolis since 1999.
The staff, led by President Mark Emmert, is structured in six sections: administrative services, championships and alliances, communications, the NCAA Eligibility Center, enforcement, and membership and student-athlete affairs. Legal affairs, government relations and human resources are part of the president’s office.
The NCAA office originally was located in Kansas City, Mo., in 1952. It subsequently was moved to Mission, Kan., and Overland Park, Kan., before settling in Indianapolis. The two-building campus is set in White River State Park on the southwest side of downtown.