Final Four most outstanding player Shabazz Napier complained on the eve of UConn’s tournament win over Kentucky that he sometimes goes to bed “starving” as a student-athlete. The NCAA has heard the growls of Shabazz’s stomach.
The NCAA announced that schools can now provide student-athletes with unlimited food. The NCAA release called the Division 1 rule revision “an effort to meet the nutritional needs of all student-athletes.” Prior to Tuesday’s change, schools could provide their competitors with a stipend or dining hall pass good for three meals a day, a deprivation which sent Mr. Shabazz to sleep starving.
Other changes include the requirement of a person familiar with CPR at practices and games, certification for trainers, three hours rest between sessions for football players, and a reduction in time for certain drug suspensions. “The penalty for testing positive for street drugs, including marijuana, will be reduced to half a season from a full season,” the NCAA announced. “Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation.”
The all-you-can-eat training table may not be enough to satiate Mr. Napier and other student athletes. He explained last week just what would satiate his hunger: “We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed.”