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

In 1998, the National Collegiate Athletic Association mandated each Division I conference to have a student-athlete advisory committee. This document is intended to assist NCAA Division I athletics conferences in developing their student-athlete advisory committees.  There are several steps that a Division I conference should take as it begins to develop and organize its conference student-athlete advisory committee. 

Step One: Support

As the conference outlines its plans for the student-athlete advisory committee, it should begin by designating one member of the conference staff to serve as an advisor for the committee.

Step Two: Budget

Once that advisor has been designated, the conference should begin to build the foundation for the formation of the committee by requesting budgetary funding from the conference based on its financial rules and regulations.  This funding should cover areas such as meeting expenses and logistics, supplies and travel among other expenses.

Step Three: Membership

The conference should begin to make decisions on the membership of the committee as it represents the conference.  For example, should each conference member be allowed one representative, one male and one female representative, etc.  As they make those decisions, the following should also be considered:

  • Method of selection.
  • Attendance policies.
  • Committee diversity.

 Also, as part of its consideration with committee membership, the conference should develop guidelines regarding the following: 

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

Step Four: Organization

To organize the conference student-athlete advisory committee, the conference administrator would need to complete the following, with input from the conference representatives:

  • Develop a committee mission statement.
  • Outline committee goals and objectives.
  • Develop committee bylaws and/or constitution which would outline the function and jurisdiction of the committee which could mirror conference bylaws and/or constitution.
  • Outline meeting frequency, dates and locations (could align with conference meetings).

Step Five: Additional Information

Once the organization of the conference student-athlete advisory committee is complete, here are some additional areas the conference may want to concentrate on as the committee develops and matures:

  • Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Web site link from conference Web sites and institutional representative Web sites, committee Web site including rosters, agendas, minutes, links to institutional student-athlete advisory committees.
  • Nomination process for providing a representative to the Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (link here to web info on nomination process).
  • New member orientation program for new representatives.
  • Mentor/mentee program for educational purpose for new members.