BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Gardner-Webb men's soccer player Colin Ashley has been chosen as this year's Chair of the Big South Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and will represent the Conference's student-athletes at the NCAA SAAC meetings in 2012-13.
As the Chair, Ashley will attend the NCAA Division I SAAC meeting later on this academic year, his second meeting overall, as he attended one back earlier this summer in July. There he will represent the student-athletes of the Big South Conference, among other student-representatives of Division I conferences across the nation. He will also be allowed to sit in on meetings of particular NCAA legislative committees, as well as talk to the NCAA legislators on behalf of the student-athletes.
"It means a lot to me because the student-athletes is what the NCAA is here for," commented Ashley. "A lot of times even the student-athletes don't realize that they have a voice in the rules, the legislation and some of the things that go on in the NCAA. I really want to make sure that not only for Gardner-Webb, but also for all the student-athletes in the Big South that they really have a voice and can give their opinions about what is going on. For me it is a really personal thing that I can do that for people, to help people change things and make a difference for student-athletes, as a student-athlete myself."
Ashley, a redshirt-junior goalkeeper for the men's soccer team, is the Gardner-Webb's SAAC President for the second straight year, having held that position during the 2011-12 season as well, and is in his third year overall as a member of the SAAC.
"It is a tremendous honor to have Colin chosen to be the Big South's representative," stated GWU men's soccer head coach Tony Setzer. "It's a honor for Gardner-Webb University, it's a honor for our program to have someone of Colin's character and stature to be able to earn such an honor. We are privileged to have him in our program."
During his time at Gardner-Webb, Ashley has helped to spearhead the SAAC's community service program "Middle School Mentors", in which Runnin' Bulldog student-athletes go into middle schools across the county to talk to and work with the young teens.
Ashley, who is also very involved with community work at the YMCA in both Shelby and Boiling Springs, was named the 2011 YMCA Youth of the Year for Cleveland County in the winter of 2011.