You are here

Board approves new student-athlete committee

Student-Athlete Engagement Committee provides a voice on Association-wide issues, policies

Student-athletes gained a new outlet for their voice Wednesday.

During its quarterly meeting at the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, the NCAA Board of Governors approved forming a new Association-wide committee made up of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representatives from all three divisions to discuss issues that impact athletes at all levels of the NCAA.

The NCAA Student-Athlete Engagement Committee will be comprised of 11 members: three from each division’s national SAAC, one from the Board of Governors, and one from either the Division I Council or the Division II or III Management Councils.

“The new Student-Athlete Engagement Committee will serve as a means for facilitating dialogue among the student-athlete community and to gather their feedback on key issues, policies and the execution of initiatives that impact all divisions,” said G. P. “Bud” Peterson, president of Georgia Institute of Technology and chair of the Board of Governors. “We’re eager to engage this group of student leaders from NCAA universities throughout the nation.”

The new committee continues a recent expansion of student-athlete involvement in the NCAA’s governance structure. Since 2014, SAAC members have gained seats on the Division I Council and the Division I Board of Directors and the Division II Management Council. They also have received a vote at the annual Division II business session. (Student-athletes already held seats on the Division III Management Council and held a vote at the Division III business session.) The new committee gives them a direct link to the NCAA’s highest-ranking governance committee, comprised mostly of university presidents from all three divisions.

The Board of Governors discussed establishing an Association-wide SAAC during its August meeting and requested that each division’s SAAC discuss the concept and recommend a structure and composition for the committee.

Their recommendation, which the Board of Governors approved Wednesday, focused on three areas:

  • The SAAC members requested that the new committee’s name avoid the use of “Student-Athlete Advisory Committee” because they felt it could undermine the divisional autonomy of the existing committees.
  • The term lengths and expiration dates for the nine student-athlete members will be established to ensure a former national SAAC member remains on the Association-wide committee after the SAAC term ends. The staggered terms will be phased in as current members’ terms expire.
  • Because the additional committee meeting will require more time from its members, meetings will be organized primarily through teleconferences or to coincide with the divisional SAAC meetings.

The exact date for the Student-Athlete Engagement Committee to begin its meetings is still being determined.