NCAA Approves New Civic Engagement, Voting Legislation
The NCAA passed new legislation Wednesday to help promote civic engagement among its student-athletes, the organization announced in a press release.
The policy change would recommend teams give student-athletes the first Tuesday of each November off so they can vote in local, state, and federal elections. This measure will include the United States’ upcoming election day on November 3.
Student-athletes can also use their day off for other civic engagement opportunities, including community service.
The Division 1 Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) first proposed the legislation to increase civic engagement opportunities for Division I student-athletes.
“The Council unanimously supports this important piece of legislation. Coming from Division I SAAC, we know it represents the voice of student-athletes across the country who continue to express a desire to increase their civic engagement at local, state and federal levels,” said council chair and UPenn athletic director M. Grace Calhoun. “We look forward to seeing student-athletes use this opportunity as a way to create positive change.”
This legislation marked the first legislative proposal from the Division I SAAC since 2014, when the Division I governance was restructured to allow student-athletes to vote at every decision-making level.
The Division I SAAC is made up of representatives from all of the 32 Division I conferences.
“As Division I SAAC representatives and as student-athletes across the country, we are so excited to see this proposal become legislation,” Ethan Good, Division I SAAC chair and former men’s basketball player at Bowling Green, said. “By providing this day dedicated to civic engagement each year, we are making a clear distinction that our American student-athletes will always be citizens before they are athletes.
“The student-athlete voice continues to grow louder and louder every year, and we can see that through this action,” Green continued. “I am excited to see what will come of this in the current year and for years to come. The action of student-athletes on this day will be important, but the fact that we created this change through SAAC is an important reminder of how student-athletes can make a change.”
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