Annual SAAC Retreat Modified To Life During A Pandemic

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. – The GNAC's annual Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) retreat kicked off COVID-19 style.

Amid the pandemic, this year's retreat will consist of eight virtual sessions over the course of seven weeks, each session having a new theme and focal point. The first two sessions were held on Saturday and Sunday with nearly 30 student-athletes in attendance each day.

The first session's takeaways centered on goals for the new school year and how SAAC members can virtually contribute on campus and in the community in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. Members of each institution's SAAC shared their ideas for events and campaigns, some of which included mental health guest speakers, toy donations for children in need and virtual physical education classes with elementary students.

The importance of encouraging more student-athletes to join SAAC to strengthen the committees' efforts was also stressed, especially when recruiting freshmen who may not have any idea what SAAC is and represents.

During the second session, the SAAC members discussed legislation topics, freshman academic requirements for eligibility and the idea of Division II student-athletes utilizing their name, image and likeness to receive compensation.

The concept of name, image and likeness sparked the most discussion as the SAAC members listed both the pros and cons while also discussing what it would take for those student-athletes to engage in such activities while staying in compliance with NCAA regulations.

The retreat's third session will be on Sunday, Oct. 11, as the SAAC members plan to vote on legislation topics.