Wilmington, NC-
The Colonial Athletic Association’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (CAA SAAC) met November 2nd and 3rd in Wilmington, North Carolina for the 2008 CAA SAAC Meeting. The event was held in the Burney Center, on the picturesque campus of UNC Wilmington. The CAA SAAC is a committee made up of two student-athletes from each of the CAA’s 12 member institutions, and assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. The CAA SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives on CAA member institution’s campuses. The CAA SAAC summit theme was “Sportsmanship Is Leadership”.

The Student-Athletes and their campus SAAC advisors took the time to meet and develop a Student-Athlete Mission Statement and Sportsmanship Pledge. The CAA was able to look within itself for three facilitators with vast leadership experience, and a commitment to sportsmanship and the direction of the CAA as well as the welfare of its many student-athletes. These facilitators were Northeastern University’s Athletic Director, Peter Roby, UNC Wilmington’s Athletic Director, Kelly Mehrtens, and CAA Commissioner, Tom Yeager. The SAAC members learned and discussed ways to continue the conference’s commitment to Sportsmanship and Leadership, as well as continue to create a sterling standard amongst CAA Student-Athletes which is an example to others. The CAA SAAC will take this standard and continue to foster Sportsmanship and Leadership on the individual campuses of the 12 CAA member institutions as well as the many NCAA member institutions which they will visit during their competitive seasons.

Student-Athlete Mission Statement

As CAA Student-Athletes we commit ourselves to Be The Difference.  As leaders in the community we personify and instill sportsmanship, perseverance, and compassion to establish a legacy based on today’s excellence and tomorrow’s success.

Sportsmanship Pledge

I am a CAA Student-Athlete, I respect myself.

Through respecting myself, I respect my opponent.

Through respecting my opponent, I respect the game.

Through respecting the game, I respect the officials.

Through respecting the officials, I respect the outcome.

My example, in victory or defeat, nurtures respect in others.

Will you follow my lead?

The CAA SAAC believes this CAA Student-Athlete Mission Statement is not only a written declaration but also a compass to guide each and every student-athlete on the field, in the classroom, in the community. It is also a guide to the successes in life which will follow the conclusion of their collegiate athletic careers.  While the Sportsmanship and Leadership session led by Peter Roby and Kelly Mehrtens was the CAA SAAC’s main focus, the group also shared their positions on proposed NCAA legislation, CAA championships and awards, the CAA Website (www.caasports.com), collaborative community outreach programs, and spreading the CAA’s message throughout the nation. The CAA spans the entire Mid-Atlantic region and is known not only for the academic prowess of their student-athletes, with 96 percent of its teams in conference-sponsored sports reporting a graduation rate of 85 percent or better, but their athletic excellence as well with 40 teams qualifying for postseason competition in the 2007-2008 season. Questions about the CAA SAAC can be directed to Chuck Robinson and Kathleen Batterson.