BUFFALO, NY – Seven University at Buffalo Student-Athletes have been selected to attend the NCAA’s first ever Career In Sports Forum. The four-day event replaces the National Student-Athlete Development Conference.
Attending the conference from UB will be Martina Pettenuzzo and Nina Connell from the women’s soccer team, Casey Derkacz and Kieron Gradwell from the men’s soccer team, cross country’s Scott Dickover, Michael McDowell from men’s swimming and diving andLindsay Hampton from softball.
The NCAA Career in Sports Forum is a four day event from May 11-14 in Indianapolis, through which selected student-athletes will explore and be educated on careers in sports, with a primary focus on collegiate athletics. The shift in programming is an effort to diversify the experience of NCAA student-athletes during their time in college. While previous programming focused on personal development (life during college), the Forum will focus on career development (life in college and beyond).
The Forum will teach foundational skills such as communication, networking, recruiting, managing culture change, transitioning and budgeting. Participants will develop action plans for personal growth, learn realistic views of the roles of coaches and administrators, and in the end dispel some of the myths about careers in athletics. College athletics personnel will take part in the Forum as facilitators, presenters and mentors.
The Forum will be conducted in a two year rotation for NCAA sponsored sports, with the inaugural Forum open to student-athletes who have interest in coaching the sports of: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Wrestling. The administrator track will cover the areas of: Academics, Compliance, Facilities, Life Skills, Marketing and Promotions and Sports Information.
Along with the change in the national student-athlete program, the five divisional leadership programs will transition to one regional conference that will include Divisions I, II and III at one site on the same weekend starting in the fall of 2010. While all three divisions will convene at the same location, each division will maintain federated programming. Opportunities for interaction will be provided through general sessions, community-service projects and menu sessions.
Association wide initiatives aimed at training campus and conference office administrators to conduct interactive trainings; along with topic specific programming for student-athletes are being developed. Ultimately, the changes being made will provide additional development opportunities for student-athletes covering campuses and conferences, personal and career development, and administrator training that will have an immediate effect for the membership.