Much is being made about the proposed changes in scholarship benefits given to student athletes. UConn basketball player Shabazz Napier made headlines last month when he told reporters that he often went to bed hungry because of NCAA rules stipulating how often schools can provide meals and snacks to players.
In reaction to the comments, the NCAA quickly amended its guidelines to allow schools to feed its players anytime. Before the change, programs could only provide three meals a day with no snacks between classes or practice.
Imagine practicing two hours each day in pads and then not having money to eat before your next meal.
Auburn running back Corey Grant told al.com that Napier wasn’t the only one who went hungry.
Some Auburn players also missed out on food.
“There’s a lot of times when guys don’t eat,” said Grant. “Other teammates have to help out, but with this, it’ll help out a lot. It’s a big decision.”
I’m certainly not for unionizing players, but the NCAA is so far out of touch, it makes you wonder whether the association can ever get its act together. When fans are paying thousands of dollars for tickets, six dollars for a coke at the stadium and another five bucks for a hot dog, and yet they still can’t provide adequate nutrition to these athletes, somebody needs to be held responsible.
I’ve always said that university presidents should be business people and not former professors. Most of these individuals don’t have the background to run a major enterprise like a university, much less make policy for the NCAA. For all these college presidents to overlook this issue for so long is criminal.
To be clear, this is not just an Auburn issue. Apparently, it happened everywhere. Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs has complained about the rule for years.
“I don’t know why we can’t feed our athletes unlimited meals,” Jacobs recently told a group of contractors working on Auburn’s new dining facility.
It’s a recipe for disaster when you bring in athletes with little financial means and then provide them only the most basic of necessities. Sure they have a roof over their head and a little food, but when they need spending money, where do they turn?
Say what you will, but it has got to be hard for an 18 year-old to turn down a little pocket money from a booster. Change is long overdue…
With only two spring games left across the nation, Auburn is guaranteed to again have the highest paid attendance of any spring contest in the country. Its announced crowd of 70,645 was third overall, trailing only Alabama and Penn State; but those schools had free admission.
You can rest assured that Alabama would have had substantially less if that fan base had to open its wallet…
The news of former Auburn star David Langner passing away this weekend was sad indeed. That radio call and grainy image of him returning both Auburn punt blocks for scores against Alabama in 1972 has been one of the frequent soundtracks of my life and I’m sure yours too.
It’s a reminder that time marches on too fast. To many of us, Langner will always be that young college player who seized the moment and made us all love Auburn more. Our prayers go out to all the Langner Family.
Punt Bama Punt!
Tags: auburn a-day 2014, Auburn blogs, Auburn Football, auburn Tigers, Corey Grant, David Langner, jay jacobs, NCAA, sec blogs, trackem tigers