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NCAA Approves Unlimited Free Meals: Bagels with Cream Cheese All Day Every Day

Free Sandwiches for Everyone!
Free Sandwiches for Everyone!
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

It's the off-season for the major revenue sports, but that doesn't mean the excitement had died down because it's the time where the NCAA begins to pass new rules! Last year the NCAA eliminated the rule preventing schools from putting out cream cheese with bagels. Seriously. Before that change it was against NCAA bylaws to allow bagels with spreads.

(The bagel rule was a consequence of an attempt to prevent a snack becoming a meal because snacks were allowed but not meals. The solution ended up preventing jelly on bagels because the NCAA is basically Derek the RA).

This year, the council approved unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with participation in athletics. From a public relations perspective, while this proposal has been on the table since 2012, it is hard not to view the timing of the announcement as fortuitous after Shabazz Napier's comments after the NCAA Championship. Napier noted that "Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities," which to put it mildly is a messed up state of affairs, especially when Oklahoma self-reported an excessive pasta violation.

The rule will will have to be approved by the Board of Directors on April 24. Prior to this ruling, athletes were given either three meals a day or a food stipend. The food stipend was usually below the level required to sustain at least 4,000 calories a day (at a minimum) that most athletes need to eat in order to maintain body weight, much less gain mass.

In addition, the NCAA Council expanded the benefit of free food to include walk-ons. Hilariously because walk-on life appears to be a black comedy written by the Coens, before the rule change walk-ons could not receive free meals because they were not scholarship athletes. Free meals would be improper benefits...or something. Obviously, all those hits in practice and 6 AM lifting sessions were for solidarity and personal improvement. Now walk-ons will also be allowed to have free food through a meal plan instead of through events at Coffman Union and Entrepreneur Club.

It is unclear at this time if the rule will affect Taco Tuesday.