INDIANAPOLIS -- Bemidji State University junior Ben Skaar is one of four student-athletes from Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference member institutions to be invited to attend the Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis, Ind., June 1-4.
One of more than 45 annual conferences and seminars organized and directed by the NCAA leadership development department, the Career in Sports Forum provides college athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on college athletics. The forum provides student-athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in the sports business and a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
Forum attendees, will hear from various keynote speakers and panelists, highlighted by Stevie Baker-Watson, associate vice president and director of athletics at DePauw University; Jason Burton, head women’s basketball coach at the Texas A&M University-Commerce; Clyde Doughty Jr. director of athletics at Bowie State University; Oliver Luck, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs; Felicia Martin, vice president of the NCAA Eligibility Center; and Craig McPhail, director of athletics at Lees-McRae College. The participants also learn best practices for gaining employment and gathering a better understanding of what future expectations will be once they get a job in sports.
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports, and who were viewed as leaders on their campus, were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many current and past attendees are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure. The selection committee is comprised of administrators and coaches within the NCAA, many former forum participants themselves.
A committee from within the NCAA membership selected more than 230 student-athletes from 73 conferences as well as NCAA scholarship and grant recipients with an interest in working within the sports industry were selected to attended the conference.
Skaar, who is majoring in sports management, holds a 4.00 grade point average. The Coleraine, Minn., and current member of the BSU Men’s Golf Team posted an 81.8 stroke average in 11 rounds as a sophomore. He achieved his low round of 76 during the NSIC Spring Preview March 25 and again in the final round of the NSIC Championship, Saturday. Skaar finished 33rd at the NSIC Championship and helped the Beavers to a sixth place team finish. At the conclusion of the championships, Skaar was selected to receive the NSIC’s Elite 18 Award, instituted to recognize the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the NSIC Championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
“Supporting NCAA student-athlete leaders with their education is a key goal for the Association,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer. “Our Career in Sports Forum puts student-athletes, postgraduate scholarship recipients in a non-traditional academic setting where they can learn directly from successful leaders, which can have a positive impact on their future after graduation.”
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).