Student-Athletes Pick Up New School Supplies

Aug. 28, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. Every Jayhawk student-athlete had the opportunity to receive free school supplies courtesy of the NCAA Student-Athlete Assistance Fund. These funds are used to directly benefit the well-being of every Kansas student-athlete.

“The best thing I got was a flash drive. I never had one until I came to KU,” TJ Walz, junior baseball, said.

The suggestion to use these funds for the school supplies came from the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC.)

This committee is comprised of 16 student-athletes from different teams. Its job is to communicate with KU administration, coaches and staff in order to represent the ideas and concerns of other student-athletes.

Carrah Haley, senior swimming and diving, said, “The KU Administration is not just interested in athletic capability; they also want us to do well in our classes.”

The busy schedules of student-athletes prevent them from having the time to run to the store when the need something for class.

“I have swim practice until 7:15 a.m. and then a 7:30 a.m. class. I don’t have time to go out if I need something,” Haley said.

Not only do student-athletes get the best equipment they need to succeed on the field, but they also get the equipment they need to succeed in the classroom.

The Student-Athlete Assistance Fund (SAAF) was created by the NCAA to give institutions a way to provide assistance to student-athletes that would otherwise be impermissible under NCAA rules. Each year the NCAA distributes funds to each conference office. The conference offices, in turn, distribute this money to their institutions based on the number of sports sponsored by each institution. Kansas Athletics is not permitted to supplement these funds.

There are some restrictions on the use of this fund. For example, it cannot be used to pay for things that could be covered by an athletics scholarship, such as meals. Also, SAAF must benefit student-athletes directly and cannot be used to pay for expenses for a student-athlete’s family or friends.

Many possibilities exist for the use of the SAAF.

Individual student-athletes have the opportunity to request funds through the Compliance Office for things such as professional program testing or emergency personal travel. Submission of a request for funds does not guarantee the request will be granted. Additionally, functions like the all student-athlete Welcome Back BBQ and the Jay-Rock Talent Show are paid for with these funds.