Becker senior Michael McMahon (Canton, Mass.) has been named the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Representative for the Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct.
McMahon, a two-year captain of the Hawks baseball program, adds to his already impressive list of titles that include President of the Becker College SAAC and Primary Representative of the NCAA Division III National SAAC.
Per the NCAA, the mission of the Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct is to "improve the condition of sportsmanship and ethical conduct in all aspects of college athletics by developing and implementing strategies that foster greater acceptance of the value of respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility."
"It was truly an honor to be chosen by my peers to be the representative for this committee, as it was certainly not something that I expected when I entered the meetings that day," stated McMahon. "Being the Division III Student-Athlete representative on this committee allows me to act as a voice for Division III student-athletes, working with the NCAA and their officials on how to promote more sportsmanship and ethical conduct within our division, as well as help attempt to make the games better as a whole."
Through his committee work, McMahon will have a hand in creating best practices and creative tools for campus and conference implementation, as well as increasing the awareness and profile of the NCAA Sportsmanship Awards.
McMahon was appointed to this committee following his attendance at the 2020 NCAA Convention. At McMahon's second round of conventions (he attended last year's convention in Florida due to his involvement with National SAAC), he attended meetings and legislature sessions with other student-athletes, athletic administrators, and NCAA staff. He had the chance to network with those in attendance at the event.
"Experiences such as these are invaluable," said McMahon. "The pursuit for knowledge and bettering yourself never ends, and having the luxury of interacting and working with these great people during this year's convention has given me the knowledge that I will keep with me for a long time to come," expressed McMahon.
McMahon heard from athletic administrators from around the country, and also had the privilege to hear from NCAA President Mark Emmert himself on trending topics throughout the NCAA – sustainability, mental health awareness, continuing partnership between NCAA and Special Olympics, along with other legislature.
While on the topic of mental health, the group unveiled their Mental Health Awareness video which they put together at the National offices in Indiana, previewing the social media campaign entitles #BreakTheStigma that will roll out May 4-7 this year.
One of McMahon's favorite and most rewarding parts of the trip was taking part an event put on by Special Olympics Southern California. Throughout his time with Becker, McMahon has been a part of Special Olympics organizations in five different states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and now California).
McMahon expressed how this never gets old for him, "Seeing joy on these kids' faces is something that brings an immense amount of pride and happiness to me personally. Special Olympics athletes are amazing in their own right, I learn so much from them, and their grit, toughness, determination. Their outlook on life is something that truly inspires me more and more with each and every event that I am able to be a part of."
At the regional level, McMahon was able to sit in and give insight during the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) meetings. "Being able to do this alongside the other NECC student-athletes in the room was truly a great honor," said McMahon. "Each of the athletes in the room contributed with amazing feedback and perspectives that will certainly lead to positive changes and practices within the conference for years to come."
On the final day of the convention at the National Division III Business Session, the group voted on the given legislation proposals for the year. McMahon describes this as an "amazing but daunting experience", as he had the privilege to get in front of thousands of people in the session and gave a speech representing the National SAAC position on the legislation proposal regarding women's wrestling becoming an emerging NCAA sport.
"Not everyone goes up to speak, so being able to represent National SAAC and be the voice that gave our opinion on that legislation proposal was certainly an honor that means a lot to me," reflected McMahon.
"All in all, the National Convention was an amazing trip and I am so grateful for the opportunities to be involved in events such as this," concluded McMahon. "I take pride in being able to represent the NECC and the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) on a national level, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store."
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 15 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.
(Photo and Release courtesy of Becker Sports Information)