Un- or lightly or questionably accredited sports programs are having a moment. Scam prep program Bishop Sycamore owned the week of sports news until Thursday night, when it made way for North American University, which fell to Lamar by a score of 47-3. Friend of the program Tim Burke tweeted an entertaining thread about good ol’ NAU. (You might know them better under their old name of North American College. No? Oh well.)
ESPN did not even have a logo to air for the Stallions, and to the shock of absolutely nobody, Burke uncovered that NAU is included in the NCAA’s 2021 list of “non-countable opponents,” the institutions that do not satisfy the NCAA’s requirements for membership. This means that any game against them simply doesn’t count for records or statistics.
There are 45 “colleges” on the list, and it’s a hilarious assortment of names that are simultaneously weirdly specific and utterly generic. Perhaps they are the result of a random college name generator formula. Try it yourself! [Your favorite direction] + [Region of the country you were born in] + [Religious group you no longer associate with]. Yeah, I played defensive end at East Midwest Evangelical Free University.
Here are some of my favorite “real” non-countable schools:
American Sports University
The nation’s first and only 4-year university dedicated to educating the future leaders of the sports industry. Here at ASU, we strive to inculcate in our students the motivation, entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, outreach, and pragmatic love of knowledge to become pioneers in the growing $213 billion sports business.
Why beat around the bush? This is a school in America that is all about the sports.
The website shows 13 different “recognition” documents—ostensibly accreditations of various kinds—yet the images are so small I can only make out the words “Senate” and “Assembly” in fancy script. Clicking on the images does not enlarge them. Heck, clicking on the menu tabs on the left of the homepage doesn’t lead to any actual pages either.
Aptly named after a mystical city that does not exist.
Central International University
Not just international, but the central kind of international, you know?
College of Faith
Any faith will do. College of Faith actually appears on this list twice, for each city it has appeared in. “Normally colleges create football teams. But here is the story of a football coach who created a college,” this NPR story on the Saints begins.
From the New York Post in 2015, after the team moved from Charlotte to West Memphis, Arkansas:
Thomas’s football teams — called, variously, the Mighty Believers, the Wildcats and the Saints and decked out in uniform colors ranging from lime green to maroon to tangerine orange — have scored just once in their 19 games against NCAA and NAIA opponents, most of them Division I or II schools, losing by a combined 1,159-6.
University of Faith
University of God’s Chosen
Very high admission standards here. Their team name is the Disciples. “An unorthodox amalgamation of school, football and faith, the Arkansas-based University of God’s Chosen has no campus, holds no classes and isn’t accredited by any agency,” wrote the Fayetteville Observer.
I just love this name. College is all about the future. Your future. Any kind of future you dream of can be realized at future college.
Ohio Mid-Western College
Hyphenated, so you know they’re serious. The .edu URL advertised in the banner in the top photo is dead. OM-WC’s website is now hosted by Yolasite.
Reply in the comments with your favorite directional-regional-faith-based-future-securing institution of higher learning.