TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today three student-athlete representatives from its member institutions who will hold voting power on proposed NCAA rule changes under the Division I autonomy process.Florida State’s Wilson Bell joins Duke’s Madison Granger (track and field) and Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala (swimming and diving) as members of the ACC Autonomy Committee effective immediately.
All three individuals will be invited to attend various ACC governance meetings and participate as members of the voting delegation at the 2017 NCAA Convention.
“I am honored to have been selected by the ACC, to not only represent Florida State, but all the student-athletes in our great conference in the NCAA Autonomy process,” Bell said. “To be one of three student-athletes in the ACC to serve in this national role and on this committee is a huge honor, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted in August of 2014 to restructure how schools and conferences govern themselves, paving the way for student-athletes to have a voice – and a vote – at every level of decision-making. A council, established as part of that process, is responsible for day-to-day operations of the division and includes two seats for student-athletes, two for faculty and four for commissioners.
“The commitment by the NCAA to better include current student-athletes in the decisions made by the organization is appropriate and timely,” said Florida State Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox. “We are pleased that one of our football student-athletes will represent our institution and the ACC. It is a real compliment to Wilson to be selected for this responsibility. The league could not have picked a better representative.”
“I’m not surprised at all that Wilson was selected to represent the ACC on the NCAA Autonomy Committee,” said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. “Wilson is a tremendous leader for our team. He does an outstanding job on the field, in the classroom and in the community. He will be a perfect representative for Florida State and the ACC at the national level.”
The new model also granted flexibility to schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences to change rules for themselves in a list of specific areas within Division I. The legislative process for these 65 schools includes the three student-athlete representatives from each conference who vote on rule changes.
“The student-athlete voice has never been more important as we continue to prioritize their experience and well-being,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Madison, Wilson and Brandon will be valuable additions to our governance process, and we look forward to having them at the table.”
Bell, Fiala and Granger are members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at their respective schools, and Granger and Bell serve on the ACC’s SAAC.
Bell was one of only two student-athletes to start every game on the offensive line for the Seminoles in 2015 and was the 2013 recipient of the program’s Offensive Scout Team Player Award. An accomplished public speaker, Bell has participated in numerous volunteer service events in the Tallahassee area, including the Miracle Sports League, Lift for Life, Fanconi anemia Kidz 1st Fund, Dance Marathon and Art & Athletic Camp. Bell is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and majors in Editing, Writing and Media at FSU.
The trio of student-athletes are the second group of student-athletes chosen to represent the ACC in the NCAA Autonomy process. Clemson’s Patrick Andrews (baseball), Notre Dame’s Kaila Barber (track and field) and Pitt’s Artie Rowell (football) served the inaugural terms.
(Portions of article courtesy of the ACC)