Three Student-Athletes Selected To Represent ACC Peers

Student-athlete representatives to serve on Autonomy Committee

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today three student-athlete representatives from its member institutions who will hold voting power on proposed NCAA rule changes under the  Division I autonomy process.

Duke’s Madison Granger (track and field/cross country), Florida State’s Wilson Bell (football) and Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala (swimming and diving) will participate as members of the ACC Autonomy Committee, be invited to attend various ACC governance meetings and participate as members of the voting delegation at the 2017 NCAA Convention.

“The student-athlete voice has never been more important as we continue to prioritize their experience and well-being,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Madison, Wilson and Brandon will be valuable additions to our governance process, and we look forward to having them at the table.” 

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted in August of 2014 to restructure how schools and conferences govern themselves, paving the way for student-athletes to have a voice – and a vote – at every level of decision-making. A council, established as part of that process, is responsible for day-to-day operations of the division and includes two seats for student-athletes, two for faculty and four for commissioners.

The new model also granted flexibility to schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences to change rules for themselves in a list of specific areas within Division I. The legislative process for these 65 schools includes the three student-athlete representatives from each conference who vote on rule changes.

Granger, Bell and Fiala are members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at their respective schools, and Granger and Bell serve on the ACC’s SAAC.

Duke’s Granger is a junior English major from Belchertown, Massachusetts, who earned 2015 All-ACC honors competing in the indoor mile. She is a two time USTFCCCA All-Academic selection, and she earned a spot on the All-ACC Academic Women's Indoor Track & Field Team. She has been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll each of the three years she has been eligible. Granger was one of a select few rising junior chosen to attend last year’s NCAA Careers in Sports Forum, and served the past year as Duke SAAC president. Her volunteer work includes membership in “Read With the Blue Devils” and visits to local Boys and Girls Clubs.

“Finding out that I had been selected as an Autonomy representative was an amazing moment.,” Granger said. “Simply being able to compete as a student-athlete for Duke University and within the Atlantic Coast Conference has been an incredibly transformative, invaluable experience. I feel blessed … and I am honored and humbled that for the next two years I will be entrusted with the role of representing both of these phenomenal institutions. I can't wait to get to work, alongside my fellow representatives, making the voices of ACC student-athletes heard in the NCAA legislative process.”

Florida State’s Bell was one of only two student-athletes to start every game on the offensive line for the Seminoles and was the 2013 recipient of the program’s Offensive Scout Team Player Award.  An accomplished public speaker, Bell has participated in numerous volunteer service events in the Tallahassee area, including the Miracle Sports League, Lift for Life, Fanconi Anemia Kidz 1st Fund, Dance Marathon and Art & Athletic Camp.  Bell is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and majors in Editing, Writing and Media at FSU.

“I am honored to have been selected by the ACC, to not only represent Florida State, but all the student-athletes in our great conference in the NCAA Autonomy process,” Bell said. “To be one of three student-athletes in the ACC to serve in this national role and on this committee is a huge honor, and I can’t wait to get started.”  

Virginia Tech’s Fiala has won two medals (one gold, one bronze) at the past two ACC Swimming & Diving Championships, and placed among the top five in five events at the 2015 ACC Championships in Atlanta.  He has twice been selected to the All-ACC Swimming and Diving Academic Team, and was a member of the Virginia Tech Athletic Directors’ Honor Roll in both 2014 and 2015. His volunteer  service includes work with elementary school reading programs in the Blacksburg area. Fiala is a junior from Centreville, Virginia, and double-majors in Finance and Accounting.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to represent the ACC student-athletes on the national issues impacting us,” Fiala said.  “It is a huge honor to be selected from such a qualified group of applicants. I hope to make sure our student-athletes’ needs and opinions are voiced and heard.”

The three are the second group of student-athletes chosen to represent the ACC in the NCAA Autonomy process. Clemson’s Patrick Andrews (baseball), Notre Dame’s Kaila Barber (track and field) and Pitt’s Artie Rowell (football) served the inaugural terms.

About the ACC 
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 63rd year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity.  For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on facebook.com/theACC.