Beyond the Greens: Student-Athlete Advocacy in action

Posted on November 06, 2023

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Bryan School of Business and Economics student and member of UNC Greensboro’s Men’s Golf Team Parker Truesdale ‘24 (Business Administration) recently traveled to Indianapolis to represent the Southern Conference (SoCon) at the annual Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting. Truesdale, who currently serves as the president of UNCG’s SAAC chapter, was 1 of approximately 25 people in the country who were invited. 

The SAAC DI meeting, which took place from Sept. 30 through Oct. 1, invites representatives from each conference to get updates about the NCAA, hear student athletes’ opinions, and vote on important decisions affecting student-athletes nationwide.  

Truesdale, along with 24 other NCAA student-athletes, traveled to the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis for the annual Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting.

This semester, the main topics of conversation at the conference included achieving a holistic student-athlete model, student-athletes being paid by the university they play for, and brand deals for student-athletes. The NCAA is working to focus on the overall well-being of student-athletes, supporting them in various ways on and off the field in areas such as mental health, academics, and career planning. 

Discussions involved the conference representatives like Truesdale, liaisons, and the NCAA itself.  One of the action items discussed and voted on is already in play, changing the student-athlete transfer window from 60 days to 45 days.  

Truesdale utilized the opportunity to introduce his own initiative that encourages student-athletes to write letters to Congress as individuals, departments, or conferences to ensure their voices are heard as legislation affecting them is being passed.  

“I realized that the voice of the student-athlete can hold as much value as the student wants,” Truesdale said. “Every student-athlete can have an impact, either individually or through the voice of their university representative.”  

Parker Truesdale. Photo Courtesy of Spartan Athletics.

Truesdale credits the Bryan School — specifically the Team Leader program — for helping him build the confidence necessary to be an effective voice for his fellow student-athletes.  The Team Leader program allows top Bryan School students to serve as peer mentors and industry professionals in the instruction of Blueprint Series courses.  

“Parker’s intentionality with his education and willingness to step out of his comfort zone made him a stand-out student early on,” Bryan School Undergraduate Professional Development Specialist Maggie Breitenbach said. “As a student and a leader, Parker embodies what it means to be a Bryan School Student by making a positive impact and showing others how to do the same.” 


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