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Student Athlete Appointed to National Committee

Sophomore Pirate football player Jose Alfredo “Fredo” Perez Jr. (#65) has been chosen as a representative on the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the 2016-2017 academic year and will continue to serve through his graduation.

Perez says, “At first, I wasn’t sure how to react and had no clue as to what the position was going to bring to my life as a collegiate athlete. I now see what the title means and how important it is, not only to my school but also to the two conferences that I now represent.”

Each member of the national SAAC represents two conferences; Perez will represent both the SCAC and the American Southwest Conference (ASC). “It is a great honor to have a student-athlete selected from our University,” says Southwestern Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Glada Munt.

Due to the rotation among schools and conferences, it can be years before a particular school is eligible to have a representative on the NCAA’s National SAAC. This year, the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC)—in which the Pirates compete—was eligible, so Southwestern Head Football Coach Joe Austin recommended Perez to Munt, who then recommended him to the SCAC Commissioner.

Perez was nominated and chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime leadership opportunity because “he is an outstanding young man, who is truly responsible and will, without a doubt, do the job well,” says Austin.

“This position as a National Division III representative has expanded my view of the country,” says Perez. “I come from a very secluded part of South Texas and didn’t know much of what was out there until I got the opportunity to fly out to Indianapolis in November for my first National SAAC meeting. It has also taught me how to publicly speak and present myself and given me opportunities to network with individuals from all over the nation, which would not have been possible otherwise.”

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) governs three divisions of intercollegiate athletics across the country, with more than 460,000 student-athletes making up 19,000 teams.

Southwestern teams are among the 450 colleges and universities that compete in NCAA’s Division III. According to the NCAA, “Division III provides an integrated environment that focuses on academic success while offering competitive athletics and meaningful non-athletic opportunities.” As part of the SCAC, Southwestern shares the NCAA DIII commitment to prioritizing academic standards and quality educational experiences.

Story by Daniella A. Barrera

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