The NCAA dates its formation to two White House conferences convened by President Theodore Roosevelt to "encourage reforms" to college football practices in the early 20th century, which had resulted in repeated injuries and deaths and "prompted many college and universities to discontinue the sport." Following those White House meetings, Chancellor Henry Mac Cracken of New York University organized a meeting of 13 colleges and universities to initiate changes in football playing rules; at a follow-on meeting on December 28, 1905 in New York, 62 higher-education institutions became charter members of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS).For several years, the NCAA was a discussion group and rules-making body, but in 1921, the first NCAA national championship was conducted: the National Collegiate Track and Field Championships.
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is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,281 institutions, conferences, and individuals.
Gradually, more rules committees were formed and more championships were created, including a basketball championship in 1939.
In the late 1940s, there were only two colleges in the country, Notre Dame and Pennsylvania, with a national TV contract, a considerable source of revenue.
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.
This revenue is then distributed back into various organizations and institutions across the United States.
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.
It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports.