The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) held its final meeting of the 2009-2010 academic year on March 11, 2010 in the McAllister Field House. In attendance were Todd Lair, Linda Schoonmaker, Margaret Francel, Jennifer Speelman, George Rudolph, Kelly Simpson, Will Johnson,and Athletic Director Larry Leckonby. Student representatives Jimmy Harris, Tatum Jestila, Blaine McAllister, Caitlyn Lees, Derek Royster, and Angela Foyt also attended the meeting.
Jennifer Speelman called the meeting to order at 11:30 am. The first order of business was to introduce Larry Leckonby, Athletics Director at The Citadel. Larry Leckonby wanted to complement the student athletes and remarked that the school had just finished their finest winter season in the history of the school. As examples he mentioned the accomplishments of the wrestling team, track & field teams, rifle team, and basketball team. He also cited the fact that 10 Citadel Sports Programs had higher graduation rates than any other SoCon Teams and handed out statistics regarding 2009 Fall Term GPA for student athletes.
Next, the student representatives were asked to introduce themselves, give an overview of their season, and to take the faculty through a typical day as a student athlete. JimmyHarris talked about the men’s track and field team, Tatum Jestila and BlaineMcAllister talked about the volleyball team, Caitlyn Lees talked abou the women’s track and field team, Derek Royster talked about the wrestling team, and Angela Foyt talked about the soccer team. The athletes emphasized the fact that even when their sport was not in season, they were still required to do conditioning and strength training.
Of major concern for students, administrators, and faculty was the need to delay fall course registration due to the implementation of the new Banner Registration System. In previous years this was done in April, before students left campus, but this year registration would not begin until June. This was discussed at some length. Many administrators were worried that if student athletes did not register on time, they would be closed out of morning classes, which they are required to take because of practice schedules. Faculty members strongly urged student athletes to meet with their faculty advisors before leaving for the summer and to work out a plan that would enable them to register online at home in June as well as contact the faculty member over the summer should any problems arise.
Linda Schoonmaker then raised the issue of providing an internship experiences for student athletes. With the difficult job market, internship experience is becoming increasing important and student athletes are restricted during the semester because of their practice schedule. Faculty members who oversaw internships programs in Business, Psychology, History, and Sports Management strongly encouraged students to set up this kind of practical experience during the summer. Since no representatives of the baseball team were present, Todd Lair provided an overview of their recent trip to Hawaii.
Jennifer Speelman thanked the students and Mr. Leckonby for coming to meet with the committee. She also informed Todd Lair, Director of Compliance that the Student Athletic Advisory Committee would have many new faces in the fall as the majority of the faculty were either rotating off the committee or would be on sabbatical. The meeting adjourned at 12:30pm.