Before last week’s men’s basketball national championship, game Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier said he often goes to bed “starving.”
Following his statement, it’s probably no coincidence the NCAA Legislative Council announced Tuesday that student-athletes will receive unlimited meals and snacks in the future.
Previously, student-athletes were only granted three meals per day or a food stipend, but now all athletes, including walk-ons and those not on scholarship. Also, this ruling doesn’t just cover the stomachs of basketball and football players, all 32 potential men’s and women’s teams of athletes will be fed appropriately.
The rule can be finalized after the Division I Board of Directors meet on April 24. Though most — if not, all — people are in favor of the new rule, there are many differing opinions from those involved in collegiate athletics, as well as fans and outsiders.
Many former and current student-athletes had positive (and almost tongue-in-cheek) reactions:
And so did many current athletes, including Ohio football player Justin Wyatt:
Although, current athletes may be optimistic about their living situations, they know they’re not getting paid, but want to get fed well. It’s cheaper to keep him or her on campus, on a meal plan. But almost everybody eventually gets sick of on-campus food, if not the restrictions of on-campus life.
And now, food can become a factor in recruiting.
NCAA rules and compliance expert John Infante said in the end “players will have more snacks during the day and an extra meal at night – or they may be able to pocket a little more of their room and board money and eat the food provided by the team.”
Some media members, including Northeast Ohio Media Group writer Doug Lesmerises, are more skeptical of where the NCAA is heading, though. Because football players at Northwestern unionized last week, he wonders where the NCAA is headed next.
As of now, players will be hungry, but who knows what the future holds.