NCAA Announces Division I Athletes Won't Have Activities on Election Day

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 16, 2020

The national office of the NCAA in Indianapolis is shown Thursday, March 12, 2020. The NCAA canceled the men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments amid coronavirus fears on Thursday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Division I athletes will not be asked to compete, practice or participate in "countable athletically related activities" on Election Day, which this year falls on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The NCAA made the announcement Wednesday and also stated that the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee had proposed designating one day per year for student-athletes to "participate in civic engagement," which includes voting, community service and other activities.

Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, the University of Pennsylvania's athletic director, spoke further on the matter:

"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. We look forward to seeing student-athletes use this opportunity as a way to create positive change."

The NCAA on June 12 encouraged schools to give student-athletes Election Day off, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

Some schools—including USC, Purdue and Minnesota, among others—announced their decisions to do so.

Other sports organizations are taking proactive approaches toward Election Day, including the NBA. Some of the Association's teams will open their practice facilities or arenas for use as polling centers, per Mark Medina of USA Today.

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Teams and players have launched various initiatives encouraging voter participation and aiming to combat voter suppression.

In addition, NFL, NFLPA and team facilities will be closed on Election Day, per Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper.