Following Stories of Athletes Going to Bed Hungry, NCAA to Allow Unlimited Meals

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 15 2014 8:58 PM

NCAA Votes to Allow Colleges to Provide Athletes with Unlimited Meals

The NCAA moves to extend meal allowances to Div. I athletes.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The NCAA, apparently, feeling the heat from Northwestern football players’ newly won right to unionize and the blowback from Final Four MVP Shabazz Napier’s claim that there were nights he went to bed "starving" while playing for UCONN, the NCAA legislative council approved the expansion of meal allowances for college athletes on Tuesday. The proposal, which still needs to be approved by the NCAA board of directors, would allow Division I schools to provide athletes with unlimited meals and snacks, and would include non-scholarship players. At the moment, athletes are allowed three meals a day or a stipend for food.

Food has been a prickly issue when it comes to the NCAA and its athletes. Earlier this year three Oklahoma athletes had their eligibility put in jeopardy after eating too much pasta at a graduation banquet. “The hungry trio ran afoul of NCAA bylaw that permits schools to provide athletes with ‘reasonable refreshments’ from time to time for ‘celebratory events,’” according to the Los Angeles Times. To restore their eligibility, the athletes paid $3.83 to charity to pay for the pasta.


Here’s more on some of the NCAA’s other food bylaws, via the Los Angeles Times:

The NCAA's 432-page rule book has previously ensnared hungry athletes. Though such violations usually revolve around boosters picking up the tab for an athlete's meal at a restaurant, [former compliance director Jim] Infante said, everything from ham sandwiches to cream cheese have become issues in the past… Another NCAA bylaw, better known as the bagel rule, permits schools to offer bagels, fruits and nuts to athletes at any time. An interpretation, however, prohibited offering spreads such as cream cheese or peanut butter with the bagels. NCAA President Mark Emmert frequently cited the prohibition on spreads as an example of the organization's overreach. The interpretation was eliminated last year.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.