"All Vote, No Play": Historic Piece of Legislation Approved in NCAA's September 16 Vote
Lost in the shuffle of the Division I Council’s announcement of the plans for playing the 2020-21 college basketball season was an announcement concerning not playing on one specific day during the 2020-21 season.
Bear with me and let’s travel back to early June.
On the morning of Wednesday, June 3, Georgia Tech assistant men’s basketball coach Eric Reveno tweeted the following:
Reveno called for election day each November, and in particular, this year’s federal election, to be a day in which the NCAA mandates a stoppage of all “countable athletically related activities”. This would include games, practices, weightlifting, etc.; any official activities related to an NCAA athletic team. Reveno gave his proposal the name “#AllVoteNoPlay”.
Exactly 15 weeks later, on Wednesday, September 16, after months of receiving widespread affirmation and commitments to honor Reveno’s call to #AllVoteNoPlay, the Division I Council made their easiest decision of the day:
Much of the focus in the college basketball world leading into Wednesday’s vote was on big-ticket items like the date for the beginning of the season (November 25) and the number of games teams would be able to play in the regular season (minimum 13 to qualify for NCAA Tournament, maximum 27).
So yes, "All Vote, No Play" has received less publicity due to the immediacy of trying to get the 2020-21 season off the ground; however, while it’s been less of a talking point, the movement is perhaps more important culturally and certainly longer-lasting. There is no indication that this will be a one-off decision but rather a pause in action that will be observed annually on election day.
The November election day falls each year on the first Tuesday after November 1.
Per the NCAA’s report on the matter, “The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee proposed the legislation to provide a day each year dedicated to increasing opportunities for Division I athletes to participate in civic engagement. These include activities such as voting or community service, among others.”
Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, the Athletics Director at Pennsylvania, said “The Council unanimously supports this important piece of legislation. Coming from Division I SAAC, we know it represents the voice of student-athletes across the country who continue to express a desire to increase their civic engagement at local, state, and federal levels. We look forward to seeing student-athletes use this opportunity as a way to create positive change.”
One of the reasons for the importance of this decision is due to the downward trend of 18-24-year-olds nationwide who participate in elections. Reveno underscored this reality multiple times over the intervening months since his initial call for an election day stoppage of play. Here’s one example:
One thing to note is games that were scheduled prior to July 17, 2020, will be exempt and can still take place. Despite this exemption, multiple games in this scenario have already worked to re-schedule so that the participants can also take place in All Vote, No Play.
This is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will hopefully help continue to grow and expand an informed electorate for many generations to come. Kudos to Coach Reveno and all those who helped bring this day to fruition.
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