Friday, April 29, 2016

Softball Player Selected to NAIA Association of Student-Athletes

St. Thomas University student-athlete Michelle Murch has been selected as one of 16 new representatives to the Association of Student-Athletes (ASA), the NAIA's student-advocacy arm in its governance structure.

Murch, a sophomore outfielder on the St. Thomas softball team, holds a 4.00 grade point average as a Sports Administration major. The Hialeah, Fla. native will represent The Sun Conference as a conference representative on the NAIA's Association of Student-Athletes with a term running through 2018.

"It is an honor and a privilege to represent St. Thomas University and The Sun Conference on the Association of Student-Athletes", said Murch. "I look forward to providing my perspective on the many important topics that the ASA will be taking on."

Murch, who hails from Miami American Senior High School, was selected from a pool of nominees forwarded to the National Office by each conference and the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.). The make-up of the ASA requires that each conference and each NAIA championship sport have at least one representative.

"When given the opportunity to nominate a Bobcat student-athlete as an ASA representative, Michelle immediately came to mind," said Laura Courtley-Todd, St. Thomas University Director of Athletics. "Michelle is an outstanding student-athlete who has bright future in the sports industry and will thrive in this position."

The ASA discusses and makes recommendations on any issue of importance to NAIA student-athletes. During its first year, the ASA took positions on topics such as five seasons of eligibility, drug testing and education, graduate student eligibility, the formation of conference student-athlete advocacy groups, and more.

The student-athletes sponsored one piece of legislation at the 2016 national convention and co-sponsored another four proposals, all of which passed. The students hope to take an even more active role in proposing student-centric policies going forward.

"The perspectives of current and future student-athletes must be central to all our efforts if we are to provide a meaningful foundation for the NAIA's future," Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, said. "These young people represent not only our present, but our future and will help us determine the path of success. We need to involve them in the development and delivery of innovative ideas and approaches and do that on issues that are important to them."

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