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Student-Athlete Leadership Forum

The NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum engages a diverse and dynamic representation of student-athletes, coaches, faculty and administrators. Student-athletes selected to attend Leadership Forum return to campus with invaluable leadership skills, the experience of exploring the relationship between personal values, core beliefs and behavioral styles, and a thorough understanding of the NCAA as a whole, the different divisional perspectives and the valuable role of Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC).

The Leadership Forum, created in 1997, has been a life-changing experience for nearly 5,000 student-athletes, many who have grown personally and professionally, gained a new network of peers and friends, as well as felt the rewards and importance of community service.

The 2016 NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum will take place in Phoenix, Arizona on April 7-10. Attendance at the Leadership Forum is at no cost to the participants, institutions or conference offices – the NCAA pays for airfare or mileage, shuttle transportation, lodging and meals; however, rental car fees are not reimbursed.

In 2002, the NCAA began divisional regionally based leadership conferences for Division I, II and III student-athletes, coaches and administrators. Division I, II and III student-athletes, coaches and administrators met regionally to discuss issues and information impacting the student-athlete experience. In the fall of 2010, the NCAA consolidated Leadership Forum participants from Divisions I, II and III into a single forum at one site on the same weekend.

Currently, each Division I and Division II conference office selects student-athletes from among their active member schools and an administrator from the conference office, to represent their conference at the Leadership Forum. For Division III, the Leadership Forum is open to all institutions in an identified region based on a first-come, first-served basis in the eligible region. Each eligible institution can send up to two student-athletes and one administrator. For Division III in 2016, schools in Region 4 are eligible to attend. Click here for a list of Division III schools eligible to attend the 2016 program.


The Student-Athlete Leadership Forum is a unique educational opportunity that requires diversity and inclusion. Consideration for selecting Leadership Forum participants should be given to student-athletes with a diverse representation of experiences and those that have a positive influence on campus and within the community. Click here for detailed criteria for eligible participants.


Division I conference offices, Division II conference offices and Division III member schools in Region 4, can submit nominations on Oct. 12, 2015. Nominations are submitted via the ‘Nominator’ tab in Program Hub by entering first name, last name and current email address for the nominees.

Key dates

  • Oct. 12, 2015: Registration opens
  • Dec. 16, 2015: Registration closes; materials due
  • April 7-10, 2016: Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in Phoenix, Arizona

Contact us

For more information about the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, please contact Justin W. Paysinger, associate director of leadership development, via email at or by phone at 317-917-6036.