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Grant Says Some Auburn Players Went Without Food Due to NCAA Rules

By on April 28th, 2014 in Football 14 Comments »

corey grantMuch 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!

14 Comments

  1. uglyjoe says:

    I do not dismiss by any means that the NCAA rules and regulations need help. However, I’ve been to third world countries and have seen star ing people…..I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep over football players going to bed hungry. I wish we could find a better argument.

    • uglyjoe says:

      Starving people…sorry.

    • elmasphx says:

      This is not about third world countries but young men working very hard to make institutions LOTS of money. Many of these athletes come from homes that are not much better off than being in a third world country. With the demands being placed on them, they should be give nourishment that will support them in fulfilling those demands.

      We expect these young athletes (not just in football) to perform both athletically and academically. Proper nutrition is essential in both. By putting an additional stress on them of not having access to the food to power their bodies and their minds, we also put a greater incentive to look for other resources to meet their needs: handouts from boosters and theft. Once they turn to these other sources, we demonize the athlete. It is time some of the income they generate be re-directed to supporting their success both on and off the field. I am not for paying them a “salary” outright but rather putting everything on the table and being honest about what is fair. Some sort of stipend to cover basic expenses. It is unreasonable with their schedule to expect these student athletes to get a job.

  2. audude audude says:

    It would be nice to have more perspective on the nutrition issue:

    When players don’t eat, are they missing a meal because of a practice or are they hungry between meals? What about a practice after the last meal of the day? Do the scholies provide 3 squares a day on their own or are they at training table? Are we asking these players to gain weight the “right way” at the training table or are we just asking them to bulk up on anything they can get their hands on?

    I do not know the answers. There are so many lines of nutritional thoughts on what is right or the best way it’s hard for us much less these guys to know which way to go. I would think that their scholarships provide 3 meals per day. I would think that there would be a training table for them. I don’t know what is happening since Prop 9 went into effect so many years ago.

    I agree with Uglyjoe, there is true hunger that we do not know in this land of abundance. Let’s make sure we take care of our players the right way, the Auburn way, the way we take care of our own.

    War Damn Eagle!

  3. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    First, that was a nice touch and tribute to David Langner, Jay. Punt Bama Punt is probably the most recognizable game name in the storied history of the Iron Bowl.

    As to the “starving” issue…

    Going hungry, and starving are two completely different things. The article did not mention players “starving.” I have been hungry, many times. I have not starved, as I have quite often stated the opposite. “I’m starving.”

    The physical demands on these student athletes is immense. Even our other sports student athletes face these same issues. Not just a football thing. There is a wide gap in what “should” be done for our student athletes, and paying the athletes.

    There should have always been a provision for proper nutrition, and plenty of it, to be available to all student athletes. The problem will come in, when someone who is not a student athlete complains that they went to bed hungry, and they were turned away from the dining hall because they are not a student athlete. This is how the athletic dorms were made illegal.

    Rest assured the Auburn Athletic Department wants what is best for all of its student athletes. Lets just hope that greed and corruption stay away from this issue.

  4. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Yikes you guys. The terrible issue of food insecurity and our athletes not getting enough calories in the day are two separate issues. Let’s not tangle them up with each other. And truthfully, you don’t have to venture to an underdeveloped country to see truly undernourished folks. Ask your local food pantry. And, yes, many of our athletes grew up not knowing where their next meal was coming from, which is why many don’t have the spare $$ to spring for a Subway after practice.

    But you can not tell me that it’s OK that these guys work their asses off, generate massive tickets sales and concessions and go to bed hungry. It’s not OK.

  5. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    Football players have an increased caloric intake requirement. The average guy needs about 2000-2500 calories a day. But lifting weights,aerobics, and training on the football field can easily up that requirement to 5000-7000 calories a day.

    However, the human digestive system can only process so many calories at one time and then stores the rest as fat. So, eating three huge meals is not the optimum for gaining lean muscle weight. Five to six smaller meals per day is a better way to take in large protein and caloric needs without gaining fat.

    Therefore, it would be better for these guys to eat more, albeit smaller, meals per day. The cafeteria schedule may not provide for this. Actually, I’m surprised the strength and conditioning coach has not arranged for a proper feeding schedule for the team.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      This may be one of the many areas in which the NCAA is not in sync.

  6. uglyjoe says:

    Sorry, I guess I sort of stepped in it…..first, I completely agree that there is a difference between starving and going to bed hungry….that’s sort of my point. With all the problems to sort out with the NCAA, I’m just not sure this one is at the top of the list. And TOTM, thank you for the comment; there are hungry people everywhere.

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I was a pretty ravenous thing when I was a college student. I can’t even imagine what a large football player needs to keep hunger at bay! I had breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, supper, and a before-bed snack most days. I could eat a 10-piece KFC box in one sitting, back then.

    …..I still can’t get down to three meals a day, decades later. I just wolfed down two hard-boiled eggs and a sliced tomato, to hold me till suppertime tonight.

  8. Mike Mike says:

    I’m not saying changes do not need to be made at most schools, but that UConn player was very misleading. I don’t have the link, but I saw where a UConn student posted saying even athletes get the same meal plan other students do. At UConn all students that live on-campus must have a meal plan. This meal plan provides unlimited access to meals including at least one 24/7 dining hall. Athletes are allowed “benefits” that all students receive. These unlimited meals are given to these players. Why is this player going to bed “hungry”? If he chose to live in their on-campus apartments and not get the meal plan that is his fault. Live in the dorms like everyone else and get unlimited food…He apparently could afford that housing, why not food?

    http://www.dining.uconn.edu/meal_plan_faq.html

  9. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    The fact that this was ever an NCAA rule is just mind boggling and shows why the governing bodygets so much negative attention.

  10. uglyjoe says:

    If I were a smart a#$, wouldn’t this be a great place to comment on Jameis Winston and his crab leg debacle?

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..If you’re a hungry athlete, crab legs might be one of the stupidest things to steal! Mostly shell, little actual meat! If I were an FSU QB, I’d be looking at the Black Forest Ham and the Cajun Roast Beef, myself!