The NCAA’s Food For Thought

The collegiate athletics world is a bit askew. The NCAA and various institutions rake in millions and billions of dollars through college athletics, all while the athletes themselves make nothing. The NCAA is notorious for their countless confusing rules that keep players from receiving anything at all in the form of currency.

Proponents of keeping players unpaid say it keeps the game pure and players undoubtedly remain amateurs. Opponents of it say the NCAA and colleges make lucrative sums of money off athlete’s performances and all the while they remain poor college students.

Whichever side you may agree with, the fact remains there are some definite unfair practices that the NCAA implements toward student athletes. The latest debate over player treatment comes in the form of meal allowances.

Dr. Steve Brule's understanding of food Photo Courtesy of Adult Swim

Dr. Steve Brule’s understanding of food
Photo Courtesy of Adult Swim

According to ESPN, the former meal plan for college athletes was a standard 3 meal a day plan that was consistent with the rest of the student body at their respective university. This included a meager $10 a day stipend for players when they were on the road and away from the friendly confines of their home dining halls.

A strangely progressive step for the NCAA came Tuesday when the their National Legislative Council proposed that athletes be given unlimited meals in compensation for participation. The new legislation came in reaction to University of Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier’s comments after the national championship basketball game saying, “Sometimes I go to bed starving.”

The hungry man Shabazz Napier Photo by Patric Schmitdt

The hungry man Shabazz Napier
Photo by Patric Schmitdt

His comments have drawn national attention to the blight of the college athlete and the legislative world has taken up the cause. Rep. Matthew Lesser said he and members of congress are thinking of proposing governmental legislation.

“He (Napier) says he’s going to bed hungry at a time when millions of dollars are being made off of him. It’s obscene,” Lesser said. “This isn’t a Connecticut problem. This is an NCAA problem, and I want to make sure we’re putting pressure on them to treat athletes well.”

According to CNN, the new NCAA legislation gives college athletes additional meals beyond the coverage of their standard student meal plans. This includes unlimited meals and snacks for players beyond the range of dining hall hours. The new rule applies to scholarship and nonscholarship athletes. This change could be a sign of things to come for the archaic and bizarre policies enacted by the NCAA.


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