The NCAA is encouraging its 1,100 member schools to give athletes the day off from their sports on election day Nov. 3.
In response to nationwide protests of police brutality, Georgia Tech announced earlier this week it was giving nine fall sports teams a day off from athletic activities on Nov. 3 so athletes could vote.
“I am very proud of our student-athletes and coaches for identifying a great way that they can take action to make a difference in our communities and society,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury said in a news release. “As part of our mission of developing young people in all aspects of their lives, I feel that it is our responsibility to provide student-athletes with an environment that promotes civic duty. Through our Total Person Program, we will educate student-athletes on how to register to vote and provide them with resources that will allow them to gain a greater understanding of the issues before they fill out their ballots. I applaud everyone that is a part of this initiative.”
UCLA followed with a similar announcement for 25 teams.
"The events in this country over the past two weeks have motivated many people, including a number of our student-athletes, to use their voices," said the incoming Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said in a statement. "As an athletic department, now is the time for us to take action, to demonstrate national leadership and to signal to our student-athletes that voting matters. The Voting Matters Initiative will partner with student leaders and existing organizations on campus to provide education and support action."
At other schools, coaches and players have organized plans for team-wide voter registration.