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NCAA Council gives Clemson, all D1 athletes Election Day off from athletics


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Clemson and Notre Dame will not have practice on the Tuesday of their game week. (Photo: Charles Nye / USATODAY)
Clemson and Notre Dame will not have practice on the Tuesday of their game week. (Photo: Charles Nye / USATODAY)

Clemson's and all Division I athletes will have Election Day off come November.

Going forward, Division I student-athletes will not practice and compete, among other countable athletically related activities, on the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 every year, including the upcoming Election Day on Nov. 3. The Division I Council approved the change at its meeting Wednesday.

The Nov. 3 date falls on Clemson-Notre Dame week for the Tiger and Fighting Irish football teams.

The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee proposed the legislation to provide a day each year dedicated to increasing opportunities for Division I athletes to participate in civic engagement. These include activities such as voting or community service, among others.

It marked the first legislative proposal Division I SAAC has proposed since Division I governance was restructured in 2014 to give student-athletes a vote at every level of decision-making. Two Division I SAAC members, Caroline Lee and Justice Littrell, are voting members on the Council.

“The Council unanimously supports this important piece of legislation. Coming from Division I SAAC, we know it represents the voice of student-athletes across the country who continue to express a desire to increase their civic engagement at local, state and federal levels,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We look forward to seeing student-athletes use this opportunity as a way to create positive change.”

Division I SAAC, comprising representatives from each of the 32 Division I conferences, emphasized that it is more important than ever to protect and promote the rights student-athletes have as citizens. Additionally, the committee expressed its strong commitment to provide NCAA schools with educational tools that may be used this year and beyond.

Before proposing the legislation, Division I SAAC received feedback on it from the Division I Legislative Committee, Student-Athlete Experience Committee, and the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees.

The legislation mirrors one of Division I SAAC’s priorities for the 2020-21 academic year: increasing diversity and inclusion education through civic engagement. The other two priorities are enhancing the student-athlete voice in legislative and policy issues and promoting student-athlete physical and mental health and well-being.

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