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DI SAAC seeking feedback on legislative proposal for Election Day off

Student-athletes plan to introduce legislative recommendation to DI Council

The Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is seeking feedback from Division I’s Legislative Committee and Student-Athlete Experience Committee on a legislative proposal to specify that countable athletically related activities be prohibited on Election Days.

Division I SAAC plans to recommend the Division I Council adopt the legislation.

Once Division I SAAC receives feedback, it will make its official recommendation to the Division I Council before the council’s September meeting. This would be the first substantive legislative proposal SAAC has recommended since Division I governance was restructured in 2014 to give student-athletes a vote at every level of decision-making.

Division I SAAC, as part of its virtual July 17 meeting, took this step as it solidified its three strategic priorities for 2020-21. One priority is increasing diversity and inclusion education through civic engagement. The other two are enhancing the student-athlete voice in legislative and policy issues and promoting student-athlete physical and mental health and well-being. 

SAAC, in its recent meeting, unanimously emphasized that it is more important than ever to protect and promote the rights student-athletes have as citizens. Not only does SAAC want to give student-athletes the chance to vote and have the opportunity to engage in other civic engagement activities, the committee is working on gathering educational resources that can be used by schools and student-athletes.

This was the first full meeting SAAC has had since electing a new executive board in January. The new committee chair is Ethan Good, a former basketball student-athlete representing Bowling Green and the Mid-American Conference. He is joined by co-vice chairs Caroline Lee, a former women’s soccer student-athlete at Southeastern Louisiana, and Justice Littrell, a football student-athlete at Northern Colorado. They are representing the Southland and Big Sky conferences, respectively.

Name, image and likeness

SAAC also provided feedback on other issues the NCAA is facing with respect to student-athletes. Name, image and likeness was at the forefront of these conversations. 

The committee heard about what the issue means for student-athletes and its potential implications. The group agreed it would be important to provide educational and professional resources for student-athletes so they could be protected from any name, image and likeness issues that may arise.

While legislative proposals are still being developed at the Division I level, the committee was able to provide the student-athlete perspective on how future changes might impact their experience. SAAC emphasized that changes could benefit student-athletes but also recognized the importance of making sure they are protected and educated on the issue.