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DI SAAC: The 5 Steps to Starting a Campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

In 1995, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) mandated that each Division I member institution have a student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC).The information below is intended to assist Division I member institutions in developing their SAACs.

There are several steps that a Division I member institution should take as it begins to develop and organize an effective campus SAAC. 

Step One: Support Personnel

As the institution athletics department personnel outlines its plans for the campus SAAC, they should begin by designating one member of the staff to serve as an advisor for and advocate of the committee.

Step Two: Budget

Once that advisor has been designated, the athletics department should allocate an adequate amount of funding from the athletics department budget based on its financial rules and regulations.  Among other expenses, this funding should cover areas such as meeting expenses and logistics, supplies and travel to the conference SAAC meeting, if necessary.

Step Three: Organization

To provide the organizational foundation for the campus SAAC, the following should be developed:

  • Mission and values statements.
  • Goals and objectives.
  • Bylaws and/or a constitution which would outline the function and jurisdiction of the committee and procedure for amendments (these could mirror the conference or NCAA bylaws and/or constitution).
  • Meeting frequency with dates that occur prior to conference and national SAAC meetings to help ensure efficient flow of information through the structure.
  • Quorum definition.

Step Four: Membership

The athletics department should decide on the membership of the committee as it represents the teams and athletes of the institution.  For example, should each team be allowed one or two representatives, or one male and one female representative for co-ed teams, etc?  Should the team captains and or younger team members serve on the committee?  As those decisions are made, the following should also be considered:

  • Eligibility for membership.
  • Method of selection.
  • Attendance policies.
  • Committee diversity.
  • Officer and committee member terms.

Also, the athletics department should develop guidelines regarding the following:

  • Officers and their roles within and on behalf of the committee (i.e. responsibilities or job descriptions, authority, parliamentary and impeachment/removal procedures, etc.).
  • Election process of officers.
  • Voting policies.
  • Standing subcommittee and ad hoc subcommittee formation, structures and purposes including a possible executive committee. made up of president/chair, vice-president/vice-chair, secretary and treasurer.
  • Selection process for subcommittee and ad hoc subcommittee chairs.

Step Five: Additional Information

Once the organization of the campus SAAC is complete, here are some additional areas that the institution may want to concentrate on as the committee develops and matures:

  • Place links to other conference member SAAC Web sites, the conference SAAC Web site and the national SAAC Web site on the athletics department web site (the web site could include rosters, agendas, minutes, information on community service and other SAAC activities, current campus issues, SAAC accomplishments, mission statement and bylaws, link to conference SAAC web site, etc.).
  • Nomination process for providing a representative(s) to the conference SAAC.
  • New member orientation program for new representatives.
  • Mentor/mentee program for educational purpose for new members.