Thursday, February 4, 2010

Convention Blog

The 104th NCAA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia was a great one for the DI National Student Athlete Advisory Committee. It served as a powerful reminder as to how much work we have put in during this past year and also how much more work lies ahead of us.

Convention offers opportunities for us to interact with many different administrators from campuses and conferences around the country, and to have the student-athlete voice be heard by the schools in attendance. At convention, SAAC is given the opportunity to meet with three of the most influential groups within the entire NCAA: the leadership council, the legislative council and the board of directors.

The leadership council is comprised of mainly higher administrators and experienced faculty members. They discuss broad topics facing the NCAA in the coming years and propose with strategies to tackle them.

The legislative council is the group that deals exclusively with voting on each year’s proposals each year which include everything from length of seasons to the role of text messaging in the recruiting process. Each conference has one representative on the Legislative Council.

Finally, the board of directors is a group of university presidents who are charged with leading the NCAA.

As you can see, these three groups are incredibly important when it comes to the rules and regulations of the NCAA – and SAAC has a chance to meet with each of these groups during our time at convention.

A big takeaway from our meeting this year was just how important the student-athlete voice is going to be over this coming year. It looks like there could be changes to NCAA regulations on recruiting, non-athletic financial aid, amateurism, men’s basketball and men’s football. Needless to say, SAAC has its plate full for this upcoming year.

As these changes are proposed, it is incredibly important that we hear views from all types of student-athletes. Each of the 31 members of National SAAC will be in touch with their conferences to collect important feedback that could shape what the NCAA looks like in the future. It is comforting to know that student-athletes have a voice on a national level. After all, the NCAA exists for the student-athletes.

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