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Norwich's Ryan Booth Reflects on Positive Experience as D3 National SAAC Member


Northfield, Vt. native finishing
up two-year D3 SAAC appointment

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the 2019 NCAA Convention rounds into full swing this week from Orlando, Norwich University men's basketball graduate Ryan Booth is preparing to soon conclude his two-year appointment as a member of the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The son of Cadets' 26th-year head coach Paul Booth, Ryan has served as the Great Northeast Athletic Conference national SAAC representative since January 2017. 

"From the very start, I was excited for the opportunity to represent the GNAC and work with other student-athletes to enhance our experience across Division III," said Booth. "It was most rewarding to be part of important conversations and to see legislation pass that we thought was beneficial."

Part of that new legislation was expanded national SAAC input from all 44 D3 conferences, along with a Conference and Partner-Conference realignment. The GNAC, which had previously been paired with the NEWMAC, is now partnered with the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). 

"The potential SAAC expansion was the most discussed topic throughout my tenure," said Booth, whose brother Kyle Booth, now a sophomore, also plays for the Cadets men's basketball program. 

The national SAAC represents the student-athlete voice in the Division III governance structure by reviewing legislation; identifying significant student-athlete issues; implementing national student-athlete based initiatives; encouraging community outreach; and enhancing Division III student-athlete involvement in and understanding of Division III in general.  The committee meets in-person four times a year and is primarily responsible for maintaining and coordinating the division's nationwide partnership with Special Olympics. 

Booth was a three-year starter for Norwich on the hardwood, averaging 10.6 points, 11.4 points, and 12.2 points per game his sophomore, junior and senior years, respectively, to go along with 4.5 rebounds per game for his career. Sharing the court last year with his brother Kyle, while coached by their father, made for a special 2017-18 season for the Booth family

While Ryan has his future sights set on coaching basketball, his time in a leadership role as the GNAC's national SAAC representative helped open his eyes to opportunity and learning.

"The appointment helped me realize how much of a process the NCAA goes through to enhance the student-athlete experience," said Booth. "It also helped me in regards to my personal development and communication skills." 

"I really appreciate all that administrators have done for me throughtout my whole term," added Booth. "I would like to thank Norwich Senior Woman Administrator Ashlynn Nuckols for nominating me, and both Norwich Director of Athletics Tony Mariano and GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh for being there to help clarify any questions I had." 

The GNAC office will announce its new national SAAC appointee in the coming months. That student-athlete's appointment term will run through January 2021. 

"I hope the next GNAC national SAAC rep will embrace and appreciate the opportunity because you can have a serious impact and voice for all D3 student-athletes across the country," said Booth.  

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.