NCAA Athletes Can Now Eat
I’m going to keep beating the same drum until something is significantly changed about the way the NCAA treats its student athletes. A new proposal was presented today, and mind you it’s just that, a proposal. Now get this, it’s earth-shattering news…it allows schools to give their athletes more food and snacks. You heard right, the NCAA is making a major deal out of the fact that they are allowing schools to feed their over-sized athletes more than the average person eats.
Before you give too much credit to the archaic NCAA, this comes on the heels of University of Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier complaining that he sometimes went to bed hungry because he couldn’t afford to buy food. This is the same Shabazz Napier who led the Huskies to the NCAA basketball title and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. He leads UConn to the title and through the tournament (meaning that he helped UConn make millions of dollars during their run) and he sometimes goes to bed hungry. I doubt seriously that the head coach or athletic director fights hunger pangs at night. Hell, I doubt the team’s trainer or equipment manager goes to bed hungry because they get paid for their work. The players are only the ones who actually play the game that draws the fans and TV ratings to earn the school millions but they have to abide by NCAA rules that limits their food.
Schools are allowed to provide their players three meals a day or a stipend for those meals to scholarship athletes. Now they are expanding that to include the teams walk-ons and expanding the “snack” rule. NCAA bylaws allowed for schools to give players bagels, fruits and nuts but nothing more in addition to their meals. Schools weren’t allowed to give players cream cheese to spread on the bagels until last year. Can you believe that! The NCAA went so far as to limit that a player can have a bagel for a snack but NOT the spread. How in God’s name was cream cheese going to corrupt a kid?
Are we starting to see why Northwesterns football team wants to form a union? That’s the unbelievable level that the NCAA goes to to have control over the athletes who do all the work. Student-athletes practice and play hard 7 days a week but they are limited in how much food they can eat that is provided by the school. Sure, they can go on their own and get a burger if they want, but as players like Napier point out, many don’t have a spare $10 to get food on their own. It’s taken until 2014 for the NCAA to correct that. What else is there in the bylaws that we have no idea about?
As an after-thought in the announcement, the NCAA also said that they are now requiring that at least one person is present at each athletic activity who knows CPR. Ya think? After all of the tragic deaths and injuries at games and practices, they’re just now saying it would be a good idea to have a person who is trained in first-aid to be at games and practices. That’s how much the NCAA cares about your kids.