SAAC Blog From the NCAA Convention - Update No. 1
Rose Pitkin, Emma Madarasz, and Richard Scott of the Swarthmore College Student Athlete Advisory Committee are attending the NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas. While at the convention, they will be providing blog updates detailing their experiences.
So picture this - it is 7:00 a.m., hovering around 35 degrees outside, and scrolling along the bottom of the newscast are the schools with delayed openings due to snow. We are in Dallas…but it is colder than Philadelphia! We were totally not prepared for this weather (no extra sweaters or jackets) but at this point, we could care less as we eagerly await our taxi to arrive and bring us to the 2013 NCAA National Convention!
(Replica model of the Gaylord Texan!)
After the Special Olympicsa, we set off for our first educational session and happened to find Director of Athletics AdamHertz, who was heading for the very same event, “Student-Athlete Perspective: What Does Inclusion Really Mean?” This panel was made up of six student-athletes who all shared their different experiences with inclusion during their time in college. Through the question and answer session it became clear that inclusion is a two-way street, that is, administrations must be willing to listen and be open to change while student-athletes must be willing to vocalize their needs and concerns.
(One of the educational sessions we attended!)
Following the session, we enjoyed a wonderful conversation on topics proposed during this first session over lunch with Adam and Associate Athletic Director Nnenna Akotabi at one of the awesome restaurants in the hotel! (Thank you!!!) Did you know that Nnenna used to play the Tenor Saxophone?
(Check out the HUGE screen and lounge chairs at the restaurant!!)
After lunch we split up and went to two different educational sessions. Emma and Rose attended “It Takes A Village: Shared Responsibility For Athletics Compliance." Here we learned the importance of establishing and maintaining open lines of communication among the athletic department, student-affairs, academic departments, and student-athletes. As the titles says, it really does take a village!
Richard went with Adam and Nnenna to “The Future of NCAA Championships”. This session discussed the current review of the 89 championships sponsored by the NCAA. From brand marketing to site selection, the primary goal of the championships is to maximize the experience for student-athletes. Remember all of those NCAA signs that were hanging during the men’s soccer tournament at Swarthmore? Look out for new and improved ones the next time we host.
From there, we all met back up and ditched Adam to sit in on a panel discussion called “Social Media and Student-Athletes”. The panel’s primary message for institutions was to monitor, encourage, and promote student-athletes and coaches in social media engagement. Throughout, the we tweeted a lot of cool things the panelists had to say. Follow us on Twitter @SwarthmoreSAAC and @garnetrunner!
We ended our day at the Gaylord Texan with the annual NCAA Trade Fair. There were tons of booths for all different companies that have worked with NCAA institutions. Look at all the free swag we got!
In the shuttle on the way back to the hotel, we got to spend 20 minutes talking to one of the panelists (@dhourr) from the social media session about best practices for engaging the Swarthmore community. We’ve of great ideas to bring back!
Look forward to our post tomorrow! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Emma, Richard, and Rose