Every student seeking to compete in NAIA sports for the first-time
beginning in 2011 must register at

Courtsy: NAIA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that its
NAIA Eligibility Centeris accepting registrations from students interested in playing college sports. is the official clearinghouse for NAIA eligibility. Every student seeking to compete in NAIA sports for the first-time in 2011-12 or after must beregistered with the NAIA Eligibility Center.

At the
NAIA Eligibility Center, prospective students are able to build a customized profile based on their sport and designate the type of schools, academic programs and activities of interest. Once a custom profile is complete, a student will have the opportunity to forward the profile and make a personal connection with college coaches and admissions officers.

“In addition to determining initial eligibility of first-time student-athletes, the NAIA Eligibility Center at is a destination to explore the NAIA and connect with the small college sports experience,” said John Leavens, NAIA senior vice president for membership services. “We’ve got a lot to offer including scholarships and nearly 300 colleges and universities to choose from. We’re excited to tell our story and welcome you to PlayNAIA."

NAIA colleges and universities award $450 million in financial aid to 60,000 student-athletes every year. Additionally, NAIA colleges provide outstanding educational opportunities to students interested in receiving the personal touch of a small college education. The NAIA offers students an opportunity to continue their athletic career and play for a shot at one of 23 national championships in
college football, men's basketball, softball and more.

Prospective student athletes are encouraged to visit
www.PlayNAIA.organd explore the world of NAIA college sports. Find out more about NAIA schools, including NAIA college and university locations, and which NAIA schools sponsor specific sports. Plus, visitors can view NAIA college websites and check out photo galleries and links to NAIA championships.

NAIA Eligibility Centeris also a destination for member institutions, parents, high school guidance counselors and coaches. The site features numerous resources and includes a list of frequently asked questions, scholarship information, and details about transfer student eligibility, feesand much more.

With the launch of the new NAIA Eligibility Center, the association is in a better position to establish accountability in determining the eligibility of student-athletes and ensure fair competition among individuals with similar athletic experiences. Academic requirements for high school students interested in the NAIA have not changed. The only difference is that initial eligibility will first be determined through the NAIA Eligibility Center. The center is located at the NAIA national office headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.

About the NAIA

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is the governing body for athletics programs at its nearly 300 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The long-held mission of the NAIA is to promote the education and development of well-rounded students and productive citizens through intercollegiate athletics. The Association offers equitable access and opportunities for participation in its 23 national championship events held annually throughout the country.

Today, the NAIA strengthens its commitment to student-athletes and strives to enrich their college experience by supporting academic achievement and character development. NAIA Champions of Character is the association's innovative flagship program designed to instill character values in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the communities it serves.

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