NCAA proposes unlimited meals

Yale has a structured, three meal-per-day plan that is served between certain hours, rather than around the clock. At Yale, as well as all other NCAA governed schools, that may change for student-athletes.

On Tuesday, the NCAA legislative council passed a proposal that allows the expansion of the meal plan for athletes to include unlimited meals and snacks. The plan would extend to all athletes, including walk-ons. After months of debate, the committee passed the proposal for all schools, regardless of whether or not they offer scholarships — meaning the measure would affect Ivies.

“As written, the new NCAA legislation on providing meals and snacks incidental to participation would also apply to Ivy League student-athletes,” said Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris. “However, as we do with many NCAA proposals that get adopted, we will be presenting this proposal and its ramifications to the Ivy League athletics directors in May. They may decide to allow the rule to apply as written, or they may decide to make modifications.”

The previous standards permitted an allowance of three meals per day to be covered for scholarship athletes, but excluded walk-ons and non-scholarship athletes such as those at Yale and other Ivies. While this was a policy that previously had no effect on Yale — as the mandates only applied to scholarship students — its extension to walk-ons and non-scholarship athletes would force the Ivies to make change.

While the current meal plan system does not accommodate everyone, for some student-athletes at Yale, the current meal plan is sufficient.

“The way our practice schedule is set up on the swim team allows three meals to be sufficient,” Brian Hogan ’16 said. “But I’m very happy that the NCAA is accommodating the athletes for whom [the current meal plan is not sufficient].”

The modified meal plan was not the only measure proposed by the legislative committee on Tuesday.

The committee also passed proposals that would require football players to take at least a three-hour break between practices as well as requiring a staff member who is certified in First Aid, CPR and defibrillation to be present at all athletic contests.

“My personal opinion regarding all of the discussion surrounding these topics is that it is time for the NCAA and thus the Ivy League to review carefully many of the rules, regulations and policies associated with college athletics,” said Director of Athletics Tom Beckett.

The committee also agreed to propose a change to the positive drug test policy. Instead of athletes being suspended for an entire season for a positive street drug test during an NCAA championship event, the punishment would be reduced to just half a season — if it is the student-athlete’s first positive test.

The NCAA Board of Directors must pass the proposals on April 24 before they can be implemented. If passed, they would take effect Aug. 1.

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