CLEMSON, S.C. – Patrick Andrews is at the forefront of the changing landscape of NCAA legislation. The Hilton Head Island, S.C. native was one of three student-athletes in the ACC selected to represent the conference at the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
In August, the NCAA approved a new governance structure that allows for autonomy of the 65 institutions that comprise the Power Five Conferences in Division I – ACC (15), Big Ten (14), Big 12 (10), Pac-12 (12) and SEC (14). The past few months, agenda items have been fostered all across the country for this weekend’s NCAA Convention, where proposals will be voted on.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to be able to give back to the student-athlete population,” said the junior, who has a 4.25 ERA and .246 opponents’ batting average in 49 appearances over three seasons as a Tiger. “I love being a student-athlete. Being a student-athlete at Clemson is everything I could have dreamed of. I’m excited to give back and better the experience for future student-athletes.
“I expect it to be a learning process. We’re going to sit in on a lot of the discussions. I’m keeping an open mind and trying to best represent the student-athlete population as well as I can.
“I was originally nominated by Coach (Jack) Leggett and then nominated by the ACC office. I was fortunate to have a lot of good people in the athletic department representing me.
“The ACC office and Clemson administrators have been fantastic to work with. They’ve brought me up to speed on a lot of the topics.”
Some of the proposals at hand include concussion protocols, full cost of attendance (size of a full scholarship), insurance and career transition, scholarship protection and other potential ideas involving general autonomy. In essence, many of the proposals allow for an unprecedented level benefits for student-athletes at the 65 institutions.
“The goal is to come up with the best implementable system,” stated Andrews, who in December attended an ACC business meeting where he learned more about the process. “Right now, it’s one step at a time.
“None of these decisions are very sport-specific. They are very broad. We are improving the atmosphere of college athletics.
“Student-athletes are still held accountable for representing not only themselves but their team in the right manner, whether it’s in class, before practice or in the training room.”
Andrews, who is joined by Kaila Barber (Notre Dame track & field) and Artie Rowell (Pittsburgh football) as ACC student-athlete representatives, will make the trek to our nation’s capital not only to observe and offer ideas, but to be a voting member. Each of the Power Five Conferences have three student-athlete representatives (15 total), and each has a vote along with the 65 Power Five Conference institutions (80 total voting members).
For a measure to pass, it needs 48 votes (60 percent) and a simple majority support from three of the five conferences. An item can also pass with 41 votes (51 percent) and a simple majority support from four of the five conferences.
Andrews will travel Friday and attend a dinner with the 14 other student-athlete representatives. On Saturday, the convention begins at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center with open forums from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Voting on the proposals then commences at 4 p.m.
His selection is quite an honor for the Tiger righthander, but comes as no surprise to Clemson coaches, players and administrators who know him best.
“Patrick is very intelligent and his mind is working all the time,” said Leggett of Andrews, who is a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member and mechanical engineering major. “He’s also research-oriented and in a situation where he can make a difference and affect change.
“He has a mind that will do a great service for this autonomy process. He has great communication skills, so he’ll be very helpful. The ACC made a great choice in choosing Patrick.”
Also traveling to the convention from Clemson University are President Jim Clements and Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich along with other Clemson administrators and many of the presidents from the 65 institutions.
Andrews is taking advantage of the moment before the Tigers’ first full-squad practice on January 23.
“This is an excellent opportunity for me to experience something new. Whether I become an engineer or take an administrative role in athletics, it’s a great opportunity to help people. That’s what drives me.”
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