Friday, August 28, 2020

SAAC Impact


"recognizing college student-athletes who excel both on and off the field of competition."


AUGUST 28, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1. SAAC Impact

by Jeremy Villanueva, NCAA

"Braly Keller’s involvement in the Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee almost felt like it was two decades in the making.

Keller, who graduated in August with degrees in mathematics and secondary education, was a dual-sport athlete at Nebraska Wesleyan as a member of the swimming team and a receiver for the football squad. His father, Brian, has been Nebraska Wesleyan’s football head coach since 1996.

But it was actually an old YouTube video that sparked his interest in serving on the national committee after two years on his campus SAAC.

“At the end of my sophomore year when we were in that rebranding process (to the American Rivers Conference), I kind of got to talking to my commissioner and seeing what things look like at the conference level,” Keller said. “And if we’re talking conference things, I thought there had to be something nationally. I think (this video) was like 10 years old — about national SAAC and I was, like, ‘What!’ and talked to my athletic director about it.”

>> Between The Lines: "Besides chairing SAAC, Keller is on the Division III Championships Committee and the division’s name, image and likeness oversight group. New name, image and likeness legislation by each division is slated to be voted on at the 2021 NCAA Convention and be in place for the 2021-2022 academic year."

>> Of Note: "Through his upbringing, involvement in SAAC and time as a swimming and football student-athlete, Keller has had an affinity for college sports that has led him to want to pursue a career in the field. This fall, Keller will begin the intercollegiate athletics administration graduate program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln."

>> The Final Word: “The way I picture (summer camp) is people hanging out and getting together, and by the end of it, they’re all best friends.” Keller said. “That’s kind of how national SAAC works. Everybody is in the same point in life, just going through the same things in sports, and they have the same passion for collegiate athletics."

>> Keep Reading 


2. Holland Earns McKay Scholarship
by Greg Johnson, NCAA | photo by Matthew Claybrook

"Abigail Holland of Trinity (Texas) will receive a $10,000 Jim McKay Scholarship, awarded by the NCAA to college athletes who demonstrate achievement in sports communication or public relations or hope to contribute to the field.

Holland, a basketball player at Trinity, graduated with a degree in communications this spring.

The scholarship recognizes a student-athlete’s outstanding academic achievements and potential to make major contributions to the sports communications industry. The scholarship was created in 2008 to honor pioneer sports journalist Jim McKay, and the recipients are selected by the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship Committee.

Holland, who earned a 3.81 GPA, minored in sports management and history. She was named to the Trinity dean’s list multiple times.

>> Situational Awareness: "During her undergraduate career, Holland worked on several projects that include being a social media intern at the 2018 Men’s Final Four, where she helped enhance the fan experience by capturing images and videos to be posted on social media. She created stories for use on the NCAA Men’s Final Four Instagram account."

>> BWOC: "On the court, Holland was selected to the all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference first team in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and was the 2020 SCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. Holland set a single-game program scoring record, 43 points, during the 2018-19 season."

>> What They're Saying: “As a sport management minor, I have learned that I can continue to keep my passion for sport alive, just in a different way,” Holland wrote in her application essay. “The past four years I have critically examined sport, and I understand that it has a certain connection to society that I did not always recognize."

>> Continue Reading


3.  Tweet of the Day

Wagner closed his three-year Ferrum College career with a 17-3 record and 1.63 earned run average, and still to this day holds the NCAA Division III single-season record for strikeouts per nine innings at 19.1 with 109 strikeouts in 51.1 innings in 1992. He was a 1993 first-team NCAA Division III All-American for the Panthers. Wagner was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball 1993 June Draft by the Houston Astros, as the #12 pick overall.


Chi Alpha Sigma is the first national scholar-athlete society to honor those collegiate student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and in athletic competition. Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes college student-athletes who receive a varsity letter in their sport, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full-time semester, and earn a 3.4 cumulative grade point average. Student-athletes who compete for a collegiate club team are also eligible if the club team is overseen by the athletics department at the local chapter.

Find out more at

4.  Data Download

Profile of Freshman at 4-Year Colleges, Fall 2018
Number of miles from college to permanent home
10 or fewer  -  12.0%
11 to 50  -  23.9%
51 to 100  -  13.1%
101 to 500  -  32.1%
More than 500  -  18.8%

source: Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac 2020-21

5.  Conference Call

Today we begin continue our look at Division III conferences, going from youngest to oldest. 

Landmark Conference - Wikipedia

Conference: Landmark Conference
Commissioner: Katie Boldvich
Headquarters: Marshfield, Mass.
  • Founded: December 5, 2005
  • Charter Members (6): Catholic, Drew, Goucher, Juniata, Moravian, Susquehanna
  • Other Members (2): Elizabethtown, Scranton
  • Affiliates (1): Marywood (SWIM, WGOLF) 
  • Oldest: Moravian (1742)
  • Largest: Scranton (3,550)
  • Smallest: Juniata (1,301)
  • Longest Trip: 249 miles (Drew to Juniata)
  • Championship Sports: 22
  • Top Team Moment: Juniata finished second in the 2009 women's volleyball championship tournament, falling to Washington U., 3-1, in the final

>> Monday: North Eastern Athletic Conference
>> Looking BackAtlantic East SAA | NECC | NACC

sources: Google Maps, EADA

6. Comings and Goings
7.  1 Dream

Fifty-seven years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most iconic speeches in American history from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The entire speech lasted 16:27. Its memory lasts forever.

>> The Audible: The phrase "I Have a Dream," was not in the original manuscript. Around the halfway point of the speech, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson implored him to “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin.” Whether or not King consciously heard, he soon moved away from his prepared text.

  • "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
  • And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

>> Five Things You Didn't Know

Have a great weekend.


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