Don't Kill the Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

NCAA progress, one extra meal at a time

04/16/2014 9:30 AM

04/16/2014 12:50 PM

Bless his heart, Shabazz Napier’s bizarre claim that he goes to bed "starving"

actually led to a small show of progress from the NCAA. If nothing else, this is a shining neon symbol about just how little leverage and credibility the NCAA has because, let’s be honest, Shabazz Napier is not going to bed starving.

Schools provide or pay for three meals a day, and there are snacks and light meals all over the place for the hungry moments in between. I know these are college kids, and not just that but college kids working out every day, but there is just no way that Napier is going to bed starving.

Whatever, progress is progress, so

the NCAA will now allow schools to provide more food for athletes

, and include walk-ons on the allowances.

The important part of this isn’t an extra plate of chicken fingers, though. The important part is that the NCAA knows it has no leverage or credibility, and is making steps to actually,

ya-know

, support "student-athletes."

This is just the beginning.

I don’t know how quickly major change will come

, but this whole thing has reached a tipping point. Napier’s silly claim about starving and the NCAA making this small change are just the beginning.

The NCAA board of directors meet next week. We could see some major progress come from that.

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