What Is A Student-Athlete Advisory Committee? (SAAC)
A student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) is a committee made
up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the
student-athlete 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.
National SAACs (Divisions I, II and III) at a glance:
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.
Mission Statement of the National SAACs:
"The mission of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare and fostering a positive student-athlete image."
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.
History of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee:
An Association-wide SAAC was adopted at the 1989 NCAA Convention and was formed primarily to review and offer student-athlete input on NCAA activities and proposed legislation that affected student-athlete welfare. The initial national committee was comprised of student-athletes from all membership divisions for the purpose of ensuring that the student-athlete voice was one that accounted for the myriad of educational and athletics experiences of both female and male student-athletes at all NCAA member institutions. In August 1997, the NCAA federated along divisional lines. The federation caused the SAAC to expand to three SAACs representing NCAA Divisions I, II and III.
Each national divisional committee is comprised of both female and male student-athletes charged with the responsibility of assisting in the review of NCAA proposed legislation and representing the voice of the student-athlete in the NCAA governance structure. This is accomplished by providing student-athlete input on issues related to student-athlete welfare that are division-specific. (Federation has increased student-athlete participation in the governance process of intercollegiate athletics by increasing the number of SAAC members from the former Association-wide committee of 28 student-athletes to a sum total of 79 members serving on the national Divisions I, II, and III committees).
The input of the respective Divisions I, II and III SAACs continues to be sought by a variety of constituencies within the Association. Student-athlete committee members have the opportunity to speak with their respective NCAA Management Councils, and the Divisions II and III SAACs continue to speak to legislative issues on the NCAA Convention floor.