This is the NCAA

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 24, 2015 03:47 PM
This is the NCAA
ENGINEERED FOR EXCELLENCE. The NCAA is sure to add even more beauty, passion, and action to the home of collegiate sports.

With the NCAA back where it belongs in the home of collegiate sports, it is high time for all of us to get re-acquainted with the old, dear friend we surely and sorely missed.

So, just what is the NCAA?

The league began in 1924.

Forming the National Collegiate Athletics Association was the initiative of the University of the Philippines’ Dr. Regino Ylanan (yes, UP Diliman’s Ylanan Hall and Street are named after him).

According to the league history written by former Philippine Olympic Commission president Julian Malonso, Ylanan saw a need for general athletic policies in collegiate sports and thus met with representatives from Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle College, Institute of Accounts, Business, and Finance (forerunner of Far Eastern University), National University, San Beda College, and University of Sto. Tomas sometime in 1924.

From that meeting, it is widely regarded that the NCAA was born.

San Beda College is the only remaining original member school.

Among the founders, San Beda alone remains a member of the league to this day.

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NU exited in 1929 and was followed by FEU, UP, and UST in 1936. Malonso said that the four schools “did not like to play with kids” and went on to establish the University Athletics Association of the Philippines in 1938.

Ateneo, La Salle, and San Beda were joined by Jose Rizal College (1927), Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1928), and Mapua (1930) as the NCAA continued. Ateneo and La Salle would later bolt for the UAAP, leaving San Beda the only remaining original member school.

Yes, Ateneo and La Salle were original members, but weren’t each other’s most heated rivals back then.

While Ateneo and La Salle have been going at it from the beginning of the oldest collegiate tournament, their status as sporting programs differed in the early going.

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The Katipunan-based squad was a contender from the start and won six championships in the first two decades. It was not until 1939 that the team from Taft got a taste of the title.

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Ateneo’s first rivalry was with San Beda from 1924 to 1941 while La Salle’s most heated foes, when it finally got its athletics off the ground, was Letran in the '70s.

Addition by subtraction

Ateneo and La Salle left for the UAAP in 1978 and 1986, respectively, and were the last teams to be added into their new league.

Meanwhile, the NCAA has welcomed seven new member schools since 1969 to bolster its roster: San Sebastian College in 1969, University of Perpetual Help in 1984, Philippine Christian University in 1996 (left in 2009), College of St. Benilde in 1998, Arellano University and Emilio Aguinaldo College in 2009, and Lyceum of the Philippines University in 2001.

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The said-to-be biggest difference between the NCAA and the UAAP is how their members are classified.

Basing from their names, the NCAA is a governing body for college athletics while the UAAP is a governing body for university athletics.

The Commission on Higher Education defines a college as “an institution of higher learning offering academic programs and usually pre-professional training leading to a bachelor’s degree.” A university, on the other hand, is “an entire socio-physical infrastructure comprised of schools, colleges, and institutes offering degree programs in various disciplines in all levels.”

In terms of population, UAAP schools are also a lot bigger with six out of eight members having more than 10, 000 students. Conversely, the NCAA only has four out of ten members breaching the 10, 000-enrollee mark.

And finally, some quick notes regarding the winning traditions of the member schools:

After winning eight of the last nine championships, San Beda has the most titles in league history with 19.

JRU claimed their last title in 1973 and is currently experiencing the league’s longest championship drought.

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Perpetual, along with less than six-year members Arellano, EAC, and Lyceum, is the only member school never to win a title.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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