What is SAAC? A student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) is a committee made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-ath lete experience. The SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and polices that affect student-athletes' lives on NCAA member institution campuses. Presently, there are separate national SAACs for NCAA Divisions I, II and III. NCAA legislation mandates that all member institutions have SAACs on their respective campuses. Further, NCAA legislation requires that all member conferences have SAACs. The information that follows will assist you in understanding how the network of SAACs, from individual campus committees to the conference and/or national committees, interact and support one another to shape intercollegiate athletics policy and enhance the student-athlete experience.
Division II SAAC
The Division II SAAC consists of one student-athlete representative from each of the Division II multi-sport voting conferences, one student-athl ete representative from Division II independent institutions and two student-athlete at-large posi tions.
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, NCAA rules education, faculty/student-athlete relationships and championships enhancements.
During the NCAA Convention, Division II SAAC members have an opportunity to speak to proposed legislation in front of the Division II membership.
Conference SAACs-NCAA legislation mandates that each NCAA conference has a conference SAAC in order to strengthen the communication among the campus and national committees. Through increased communication and networking, the SAACs hope to better represent the views of all student-athletes.
Campus SAACs-Though the focus of campus SAACs is intended to be more parochial in nature, communication among campus, conference 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 during its 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 or in their conference; furthermore, members have the opportunity to offer input on issues that may be national in scope.
The campus committee is meant to serve as a local student-athlete voic e in addressing issues of student-athlete well-being at its 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 the campus SAACs communicating with the conference SAACs, and the conference SAACs communicating with the national SAAC, student-athletes have the opportunity to change the face of intercollegiate athletics.
The NCAA recommends the creation of some type of executive board to oversee the operation of campus and conference SAACs. Traditional board member positions include chair, chair-elect, secretary/treasurer and chairs of any standing subcommittees. All of these positions should be held by student-athletes.
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.