The ranks of hungry students at US universities won’t include elite athletes anymore, now that the NCAA has approved unlimited meals and snacks for student sportsmen and women.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association — which strictly guards the benefits student athletes can receive — previously allowed colleges to provide three meals a day for student athletes on scholarships, or a stipend to cover the cost of three meals.
The issue became a hot topic when University of Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier — who scored 22 points in leading the Huskies to a 60-54 victory over the University of Kentucky for the coveted NCAA national title — said he’d gone to bed “starving” because he couldn’t afford to buy food.
The NCAA Legislative Council announced the change on Tuesday, saying it was an “effort to meet the nutritional needs of all student-athletes.”
The new rules apply not only to scholarship athletes but also to “walk-ons” — those who didn’t qualify for scholarships but earned a place on a team through trying out.
“We took action to provide meals to student-athletes, incidental to participation,” council chair Mary Mulvenna said. “I think the end result is right where it needs to be.”
Copyright (2014) AFP. All rights reserved.
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