When we read stories about NCAA rules meetings, changes in athletic policy, and big-time college athletics in general, we rarely hear the perspective of the most important players in the whole mix—the student-athletes.
But that changed at the annual NCAA convention last week. That’s when the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) stood up and made an impressive move. According to a great article on USAToday, Duke lacrosse player Maddie Salamone read a statement that said, in part, “We are the only ones affected by these rules 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. How can anyone truly know how student-athletes are being affected by rules without actually talking to student-athletes?”
It really seems obvious that student-athletes should have a huge voice when it comes to the governance and rules of college athletics, but that doesn’t seem to always be the case.
The responses by those in power seemed to be positive, but let’s hope that it’s not just lip service. Without student-athletes, there would be no NCAA. It’s a good idea for the NCAA to continue to remind itself of that important fact.