BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. - Student-athletes who are members of Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs) and administrators throughout the Southern Conference gathered this past weekend in Black Mountain, N.C. for the annual Student Athlete Leadership Institute (SALI). Three Keydets attended - Aaron Sanders (football), Adrian Rich (basketball) and Taylor Thomas (wrestling) - along with Jamie Beasley, Assistant Director of Academic Services and Compliance.
The students kicked off the weekend Friday by introducing themselves and the schools they represented with posters that showed what made each school unique. The night continued on with discussions on issues that student-athletes face, such as time demands, resources, mental awareness and health, and how communication throughout their athletic departments work. The night concluded with the annual Red vs. Blue Dodgeball Tournament, in which the Blue Team took home the trophy.
Saturday morning began with the continuation of sessions that focused on the athletes learning what type of leaders they are and how they can use those qualities to better the SAAC on their respective campuses. Discussion about what different SAACs do on different campuses sparked ideas amongst the group and many athletes left the conference on Sunday feeling as though they had learned new concepts about the Southern Conference and the SAAC. Many also talked about how they now had ideas to take back to their campuses to implement and create a better athletic environment for not just themselves, but also their institutions as a whole.
The conference concluded Sunday at noon with the SoCon team handing out the “Keeping Tabs on Kids” (the SoCon’s philanthropy) to each school to continue the tradition of collecting tabs for the Ronald McDonald House Fund.