The NCAA Division 1 National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is awaiting feedback from the Legislative Committee and Student-Athlete Experience Committee on a legislative proposal which would prohibit ‘countable athletically related activity’ from taking place on Election Days.
The definition of this phrase, otherwise known as CARA, offered by the NCAA is “any required activity with an athletics purpose that involves student-athletes and is at the direction of, or supervised by, any member of an institution’s coaching staff, including strength and conditioning coaches.”
SAAC will recommend to the Division 1 Council to adopt the legislation, which they will do ahead of the council’s meeting in September.
If the legislation is adopted, it would reinforce SAAC’s three main aims for the 2020/2021 season. They are:
- Increasing the student-athlete voice in legislative issues
- Promoting positive mental and physical well-being amongst it 160,000 student-athletes
- Increase diversity through civic engagement
SAAC held a virtual meeting on July 17th, their first since electing a new board in January of this year. The committee is currently chaired by Ethan Good, a former basketball student-athlete representing Bowling Green and the Mid-American Conference.
Alongside him are co-vice chairs Justice Littrell, a football student-athlete at Northern Colorado and Caroline Lee, a former women’s soccer student-athlete at Southeastern Louisiana. There is just one swimmer currently on the committee: Jake Gibbons of Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving,
As well as discussing the proposal, the executive board reiterated their desires for student-athletes to be more integral to Division 1’s governance, something which they believe this legislation would assist in doing.
The hashtag #ourvoice has been trending on twitter since the tweet below was put out yesterday with many student-athletes expressing their positive feelings towards the proposal.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) July 23, 2020
According to America East representative and NCAA legislative committee member Kailyn Myshrall, this is the “first piece of legislation ever proposed” by the Division 1 SAAC.
Previously, the University of Wisconsin Athletics Department announced on June 12th that they will be foregoing “athletics-related activity” for their student-athletes ahead of the upcoming Election Day on November 3rd.
Director of Athletics at UW is Barry Alvarez who said: “Our objective is not to tell them who to vote for. We just want them to exercise their responsibility to have their voices heard and vote. I want to make that as easy as possible for them.”