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DII SAAC takes positions on Convention proposals

Student-athletes support transfer proposal, 11 others

The national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has taken formal positions on the division’s 13 legislative proposals for the 2020 NCAA Convention, voting to support all but one proposal.

The Division II SAAC representatives reviewed the proposals at their November meeting in Indianapolis. The group will next meet at the Convention in January, where they will cast one joint vote on each of the Division II-specific proposals on the floor of the Division II business session.

The most discussed proposal on the 2020 slate is one that would bring the notification of transfer model to Division II, replacing the permission-to-contact legislation for four-year student-athletes with a model similar to the one adopted in 2018 by Division I. The national SAAC voiced its support for this change, noting the student-athletes’ belief that it would improve the transfer process among student-athletes, coaches and compliance offices.

“You can only play college sports for so long, so if you want to transfer, we want to make sure the process is as smooth as possible, with enough transparency so all sides are able to see what’s going on,” said Deiontae Nicholas, Division II SAAC vice chair and a football student-athlete at Wayne State (Michigan). “We believe the transparency creates life in the balance, and that is what Division II national SAAC is all about.”

The proposed transfer model would require Division II schools to enter a student-athlete’s written request for transfer in the NCAA Transfer Portal within seven consecutive calendar days of receipt. It would not change the one-time transfer exception legislation, which allows schools to approve or deny immediate eligibility for competition upon transfer. 

Of the 13 proposals, the SAAC opposed just one, which would remove the Division II requirement that a school receive a current transcript from a prospective student-athlete before issuing a National Letter of Intent or written offer of athletics aid.

“We believe the responsibility on the staff and the potential student-athletes to get an updated academic transcript is important,” Nicholas said. “Again, transparency … the compliance, the coaches, the administrative staff need to know if the student-athlete has a good enough academic record.”

Also at the meeting, SAAC devoted time to advance its ongoing initiative of advocating for the “Total Package Student-Athlete.” This initiative has four goals: promoting student-athlete mental health, supporting diversity and inclusion efforts, advocating for student-athlete professional development, and encouraging sport diversification among young athletes. SAAC has created a task force for each goal to lead the way in developing resources and raising awareness in the coming months.