In 2016 the Southeastern Conference and commissioner Greg Sankey announced a new initiative. Sankey created the Southeastern Conference Student-Athlete Leadership Councils and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). The idea is to allow student-athletes to have a bigger say in programming on their respective campuses. The meetings will be held in Birmingham, Alabama beginning Friday.
A total of 69 student-athletes, including 28 SAAC representatives from all 14 SEC institutions will participate, including five Florida Gators. Martez Ivey (football), Kevarrius Hayes (basketball), Courtney Douglas (soccer), Harry Glasser (track & field) and Haley Lorenzen (women’s basketball).
The councils serve as a conduit of communication to the conference office on issues related to student-athlete experience and student-athlete wellness. The groups also provide feedback on proposed rules governing the SEC and NCAA.
Friday the student-athletes will participate in a presentation by Josh Foliart of the company “Growing Leaders.” They will also have an opportunity to present ideas that could benefit the lives of student-athletes on their campuses.
Saturday the representatives will meet with Commissioner Sankey, who will lead a conversation entailing topics brought up by the student-athletes. Following that the student-athletes will participate in community service projects at the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. The Community Food Bank operates as a central clearinghouse for collecting food, and it serves 12 counties in Alabama. Hope Lodge offers free lodging to cancer patients and their families, and it also provides a variety of resources and information about cancer and how best to fight the disease.
The three-day meeting concludes Sunday where there will be an emphasis on career development. SEC Director of Student-Athlete Engagement Misty Brown and Jametta K. White will address the SAAC.