Thursday, July 20, 2006

National SAAC Discusses Male Practice Players, Online Social Networks

July 19, 2006
The NCAA News

The NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees met in Dallas July 13-17 to discuss student-athlete issues, including the use of male practice players and the risks involved with posting personal information on online social networks. The committees also participated in a community-service project at the Boys and Girls Club in West Dallas.

During the joint meeting, committee members from all three divisions acknowledged that the use of sites like Facebook has proliferated and become a part of the culture on the majority of college campuses. While many SAAC members acknowledged the risk associated with posting personal information and pictures online, they appreciate the ability to communicate and stay in touch with friends through that medium. The SAACs agreed that all student-athletes need to be aware of the risks.

All three committees also discussed their positions on the use of male practice players in women’s sports. The Division I SAAC does not support eliminating the use of male practice players, but members did agree that the practice should be limited. The committee felt that there should be a limit to the number of times male practice players can be used each week or that they should only be used when a team doesn’t have enough players for a full scrimmage due to injuries.

The Division III committee supported the use of male practice players with similar conditions, and also addressed the question of whether a male practice player should be considered a student-athlete.

A more complete summary of the SAAC meetings will be published in the July 31 NCAA News.