ORLANDO, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall was represented by three students at last week's 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando. Tyler Schubert '19 (football), Kevin Lammers (football and baseball) '20, and Delano Brown '20 (women's basketball manager) sat in on various meetings and panel discussions while offering valuable input to administrators within the Centennial Conference and the NCAA before their voting on key Division III legislation.
Schubert attended as an Associate Member of the Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), representing the Centennial Conference (CC). Lammers went in the capacity as Co-President of F&M's Student-Athlete Leadership Council (SALC), representing the CC, along with McDaniel football senior Dustin Miller. Brown was selected as part of the Division III Student Immersion Program, a diversity initiative that brings 40 students to the NCAA Convention.
The convention kicked off with the NCAA Honors celebration on Wednesday evening, an event held annually at the Convention to recognize current and former student-athletes for their work on the field and in the classroom, as well as their contributions to society.
Attendees got to hear the stories of many former NCAA athletes, including honorees Mia Hamm, Shaquem Griffin, Maggie Nichols, and 2019 Theodore Roosevelt Award winner, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr. (Ret.), who played football at West Point.
"I couldn't help but notice the common themes in each of their stories: passion, resolve, and commitment," recalled Brown.
While Lammers added, "Regardless of the industry you pursue a career in, the ability to work well within a team and push through setbacks is crucial to success. As student-athletes, we utilize these skills on a daily basis on the field and in the classroom."
The convention was filled with different forums and discussion groups, including voting on legislation for Division III policies. These sessions offered direct insight into the proceedings and policies and concerns that affect student-athletes.
"For the next year, the main issue that the NCAA will be devoting efforts toward is promoting mental health among student-athletes," Lammers shared in reflecting on predominant themes he heard throughout these discussions.
While being a student-athlete is undoubtedly a privilege, it is also a responsibility. It's a responsibility to care for our teammates, our coaches, but most importantly, it's a responsibility to care for ourselves."
A major component of the weekend was mentorship and networking. Individuals from all facets of collegiate sports attended to learn and discuss athletic administration and leadership on the NCAA.
"One of my networking highlights was meeting Kent Trachte, the current president of Lycoming College and former Dean of F&M," said Schubert, who attended the Convention for the second-consecutive year. "It was so interesting comparing our experiences at the College and creating connections through our shared involvement in the Rouse scholarship program
"The convention was the perfect place to network because there were coaches, athletic staff and administrators that were willing to talk and have conversations," added Brown.
I talked to different people and gathered their experiences. As simple chit-chat turned into deeper conversation, I walked away with a greater understanding about their role and responsibilities. Ultimately, I learned how to engage with people, developing skills that will take me further in life."
The three Diplomats participated in a wide range of discussions and events, delving into topics that directly affect the experience of an F&M student-athlete. In this capacity, they were able to ensure that the student's voice was heard.
"In almost all of the sessions, the opinions of student-athletes were encouraged," remarked Lammers. "For this reason, it is so important to continue to welcome current student-athletes to the Convention."
"For most people, sport is just an extracurricular activity but, for them, it was their calling. The student-athletes were not afraid to voice their opinions in front of the crowd of staff and administrators," said Brown. "The students flocked to the mics to ask questions and raise concerns. I truly admired their attitude and character."