National Collegiate Athletic Association
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletes from up to 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps over 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In August 1973, the current three-division system of Division I, Division II, and Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). In its 2016–17 fiscal year, the NCAA took in $1.06 billion in revenue, over 82% of which was generated by the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Controversially, the NCAA severely caps the benefits that collegiate athletes can receive from their schools. There is a consensus among economists that these caps for men’s basketball and football players benefit the athletes' schools (through rent-seeking) at the expense of the athletes. Economists have subsequently characterized the NCAA as a cartel.