Southern Utah’s sports conference giving athletes day off for voting

SUU volleyball clinched a spot in the Big Sky tournament for the first time since 2015, Cedar City, Utah, Date and time not specified | Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics, St. George News / Cedar City News

FARMINGTON, Utah — The Big Sky Conference said Wednesday that it will give its schools a day off from required athletic activities on election day in November.

The logo for the Big Sky Conference. | Photo courtesy Big Sky Conference, St. George News

The conference’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is made up of two athletes from each of the Big Sky’s 11 full members — including Southern Utah University — recommended making Nov. 3 a day off from athletic activity. Conference athletic directors unanimously approved the recommendation.

“Big Sky student-athletes across all of our schools and sports are engaged and thoughtful citizens who are sincerely interested in making a meaningful difference, especially in today’s world,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said in a statement. “Suspending athletic activities on Election Day is a concept our Presidents and athletic directors very likely would have suggested anyway, but the fact that our SAAC proposed this initiative makes it even more meaningful to everyone who it will impact.”

Last week, the NCAA encouraged its 1,100 member colleges and universities to give athletes the day off from sports on election day, responding to grassroots movements of activism from players and coaches. Schools like Georgia Tech, UCLA and Wisconsin have announced they would skip athletic activities on those days.

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