Student-athletes have a voice in the NCAA through advisory committees at the campus, conference, and national level. Each committee is made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience and offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives on campus.
National SAACs (Divisions I, II and III)
The mission of the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committees is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare and fostering a positive student-athlete image.
Function of the national SAACs:
- Generate a student-athlete voice within the NCAA structure.
- Solicit student-athlete response to proposed NCAA legislation.
- Recommend potential NCAA legislation.
- Review, react and comment to the governance structure on legislation, activities and subjects of interest.
- Actively participate in the administrative process of athletics programs and the NCAA.
- Promote a positive student-athlete image.
Though the focus of campus SAACs is intended to be more parochial in nature, communication among campus and national SAACs offers student-athletes the opportunity to shape the landscape of intercollegiate athletics.
Functions of campus SAACs:
- Promote communication between athletics administration and student-athletes.
- Disseminate information.
- Provide feedback and insight into athletics department issues.
- Generate a student-athlete voice within the campus athletics department formulation of policies.
- Build a sense of community within the athletics program involving all athletics teams.
- Solicit student-athlete responses to proposed conference and NCAA legislation.
- Organize community service efforts.
- Create a vehicle for student-athlete representation on campus-wide committees (e.g., student government).
- Promote a positive student-athlete image on campus.
Members of a campus SAAC have the opportunity to address issues affecting student-athletes at their institution; furthermore, members have the opportunity to offer input on issues which may be national in scope.
The campus committee is meant to serve as a local student-athlete voice in addressing issues of student-athlete welfare at their respective institutions. Campus committees can facilitate better communication among student-athletes from various athletics teams to address issues common to all.
The campus SAAC may also serve as a conduit of communication among student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators on issues to improve the student-athlete experience and promote growth and education through sports participation. Concerns can be voiced and solutions offered regarding any issue that may be relevant to NCAA student-athletes.
Through the grass-roots efforts of campus SAACs, student-athletes have the opportunity to change the face of intercollegiate athletics.
Campus SAAC Executive Board
The NCAA recommends the creation of some type of executive board to oversee the operation of campus SAACs. Traditional board member positions include chairperson, chair-elect, secretary/treasurer and chairpersons of any standing subcommittees. All of these positions should be held by student-athletes.
Constitution and Bylaws
The constitution of the campus SAAC is a document written by the executive board and approved by the representatives. The constitution is essential to outline the policies and operating procedures of the committee. It should include the name and purpose of the committee, membership, leadership structure, standing committees, philosophy, advisors, impeachment process, veto powers, ratification and amendment procedures and voting and meeting requirements. It should be noted that many institutions require that an organization have bylaws to be an officially recognized student committee. Copies of campus SAAC bylaws and models are available through the NCAA national office.
Campus SAAC Enhancement Ideas
Create an annual report for your campus SAAC. Include concerns, committee actions, yearly activities, special honors or recognition received by teams or student-athletes, graduation rate information and other relevant topics. Present and distribute the annual SAAC report to constituent groups (e.g., athletics administrators, athletics council, Board of Trustees, coaches, faculty, CHAMPS/Life Skills Advisory Team, your conference SAAC and national SAAC). Collaborate with other student organizations on campus to organize activities. Support your institution's CHAMPS/ Life Skills Program.
Many NCAA conferences have created conference SAACs in order to strengthen the communication between the campus and national committees. Through increased communication and networking, the SAACs hope to better represent the views of all student-athletes.
The Division I National SAAC consists of one student-athlete from each of the 32 Division I conferences. Members are selected from a pool of three nominees from each of the represented conferences. Each student-athlete serves a two-year term with the option for re-election if eligible. The Division I SAAC reports directly to the Division I Leadership Council, and one SAAC member participates in each meeting of the Leadership Council. Additionally, SAAC members are represented on cabinets and committees within the Division I governance structure. It is through these mechanisms that NCAA Division I student-athletes offer input and assist in shaping the proposed legislation by which their division is governed. With the new proposed Division I governance structure, there will be one SAAC member serving on the Board of Directors, two SAAC members serving on the Council and SAAC members represented on the various governance committees. All of these SAAC members will have a vote.
The mission of the Division I SAAC is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete well-being and fostering a positive student-athlete image. Specifically, Division I SAAC fulfills its mission by soliciting student-athlete responses to proposed NCAA legislation, reviewing and commenting on the governance structure, suggesting potential NCAA legislation and actively participating in the administrative process of athletics programs and the NCAA. Division I SAAC members accept the responsibility of representing and participating on behalf of thousands of Division I student-athletes and are further entrusted with keeping both campus and conference committees educated on the relevant issues affecting Division I.
The Division II SAAC consists of one student-athlete representative from each of the Division II multi-sport voting conferences, one student-athlete representative of Division II independent institutions, and two student-athlete at-large positions.
The Division II SAAC affects the legislative process via an annual summit held each July with the Division II Management Council, during which members of the SAAC have an opportunity to interact with members of the Management Council on proposed NCAA legislation and current Division II issues. Also, committee members participate in the NCAA Convention each January where they express the student-athlete voice on collective concerns regarding proposed Division II legislation.
Division II national SAAC members actively take the lead in addressing issues facing Division II student-athletes such as the development of campus and conference SAACs, Title IX education, faculty/student-athlete relations and championships enhancements.
There are 24 members on the Division III SAAC, 16 of which are chosen from each of the four Division III regions across the nation, and eight student-athletes serve on the committee as at-large selections.
Two student-athletes from the committee are voting members on the Division III Management Council. In Division III, legislation is proposed to the Management Council from Division III committees, and the Mangement Council then has the option of forwarding the proposed legislation to the Division III Presidents Council for approval. If the legislation is approved by the Presidents Council, it is voted on annually at the NCAA Convention in January by each Division III member institution to determine if it will become new legislation.