Student-Athletes Discussed Variety Of Topics At MW SAAC Spring In-Person Meeting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Mountain West held its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Spring In-Person Meeting May 31-June 1 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. MW SAAC representatives participated in a community service activity and discussed a number of topics ranging from institutional issues to their role as student-athletes in the new governance structure.

Prior to the beginning of their administrative meetings, the representatives participated in a community service activity with the Kids on Bikes “Great Bicycle Carnival” in Colorado Springs. The MW SAAC includes a community service activity at all in-person meetings in order to meet one of the primary goals of the Committee, which is to “inspire and develop student-athletes into leaders beyond the athletic realm to positively impact their professional environment and community”. The group assisted with various logistical items associated with the family-friendly event.

The two-day meeting allowed representatives to focus on institutional topics, such as community service initiatives, promoting student-athletes via social media, creating awareness of the mission and goals of the SAAC on each campus, and other student-athlete well-being issues. The group also discussed items relative to the MW SAAC, reviewing guidelines and policies of the group and selecting members for the 2014-15 academic year.

The main focus of the meeting centered around the NCAA Division I governance restructuring and the positive impact it would have on the student-athlete voice at the national level. Kendall Spencer, the Division I National SAAC Chair, led the group discussion on how to become more informed on issues affecting student-athletes and becoming more involved with athletic administrations on their individual campuses, as well as how to handle the new opportunities student-athletes will be given at the national level. The MW SAAC confirmed its wish to be a national example in student-athlete leadership and development. 

“It was refreshing to see all of the hard work the Mountain West SAAC representatives put into making this weekend a success,” said Marlon Edge, MW Director of Compliance and Co-Liaison to the MW SAAC. “The student-athletes were engaged in the discussions and expressed a unified commitment to making the MW SAAC an example for all other NCAA conference SAACs to follow. The Mountain West appreciates the commitment shown by the attendees to not only the continued improvement of their institutional committees, but also to the continued improvement of the MW SAAC. The future of the MW SAAC and the league’s student-athletes is definitely in good hands.”

Following the MW SAAC meeting, Spencer and Air Force SAAC representative Emma Dridge attended the MW Board of Directors meeting in Colorado Springs to further the discussion on student-athlete involvement in the NCAA and MW governance structure. 

The Mountain West thanks the following SAAC Representatives for their attendance at the spring 2014 in-person meeting:

Emma Dridge, U.S. Air Force Academy, Women’s Volleyball
Bre Perrone, Boise State University, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Jaelyn Manzanares, Colorado State University, Softball
Marcy Levatino, Fresno State, Women’s Lacrosse
Julia Shelbourn, University of Nevada, Women’s Basketball
Mark Miller, University of New Mexico, Men’s Alpine Skiing
Kendall Spencer, University of New Mexico, Men’s Track & Field – NCAA Division I SAAC Chair
Nika Sedghi, San Diego State University, Women’s Water Polo
Haley Smith, San José State University, Women’s Swimming & Diving
Sara Lorscheider, Utah State University, Women’s Soccer
Sam Stratton, University of Wyoming, Football