NCAA approves unlimited meals for student-athletes, other rules changes
Progress is progress is progress. The NCAA Legislative Council approved a few new "well-being rules" on Tuesday that can be made final when the Division I Board of Directors meets on April 24. Chief among the changes is that student-athletes can receive unlimited meals and snacks instead of the three meals a day or stipend previously in place. This was an attempt to "meet the nutritional needs of all student-athletes."
The adoption of the meals legislation finished a conversation that began in the Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid Cabinet. Members have worked to find appropriate ways to ensure student-athletes get the nutrition they need without jeopardizing Pell Grants or other federal aid received by the neediest student-athletes. With their vote, members of the council said they believe that loosening NCAA rules on what and when food can be provided from athletics departments is the best way to address the issue.
Here are the other rules changes the council voted on:
The penalty for a positive test for "street drugs," including marijuana, was reduced from a full season to a half season. All changes would go into effect on Aug. 1.
- Require strength and conditioning coaches to be certified from a nationally accredited certification body;
- Require a school staff member certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all physical, countable athletic activities;
- Reduce the penalty for a first positive test for street drugs during championships; and
- Require football players to rest for at least three hours between practices during the preseason. Film review and team meetings will be allowed during this period.