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The NCAA convenes this week in San Antonio for its 105th annual Convention, this time with a renewed emphasis on the student-athletes who are at the center of the enterprise.
More than 2,300 delegates are expected for the 2011 NCAA Convention, which began Tuesday in San Antonio. Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos
In addition to the usual awards programs and the extensive involvement of the three divisional Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, student-athletes will be centrally involved in two main parts of the Convention programming.
First, a panel of recent student-athletes will discuss their experiences during the keynote luncheon on Wednesday. Then, NCAA President Mark Emmert will be joined by three high-achieving current student-athletes during Thursday’s opening business session.
The high visibility of student-athletes is in keeping with Emmert’s oft-stated objective of celebrating the experiences and successes of the more than 430,000 young people who compete each year in intercollegiate athletics.
Certainly there will be much to celebrate at this Convention. Friday’s Honors Celebration will recognize military pioneer and former student-athlete Ann E. Dunwoody of State University of New York at Cortland as the 2011 winner of the Association’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Award. Six top former student-athletes will be recognized as winners of the Silver Anniversary Awards while current student-athletes will be honored with Today’s Top VIII Awards. In addition, Merzudin Ibric of Wheaton College (Mass.) will receive the NCAA Inspiration Award.
Also, legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will be recognized Thursday as the recipient of the NCAA President's Gerald R. Ford Award.Of course, all three divisions will consider prospective legislation, Divisions II and III through their one-school/one-vote business sessions on Saturday and Division I through its more representative structure throughout the week (see stories inside).
Attendance will be high for the event. More than 2,300 delegates are registered. About 350 institutional presidents from all three divisions are expected to attend.