NCAA proposal: Athletes may receive unlimited food

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Story highlights

  • Ruling would apply to both athletes who get scholarships and those who don't
  • NCAA has been looking at the issue for months
  • Star player at NCAA tournament revealed he sometimes cannot afford to buy food
  • Other proposals include lighter penalties for testing positive for marijuana

The NCAA on Tuesday proposed that athletes receive unlimited meals and snacks, the collegiate sports organization said in a news release.

Member Division I schools could provide their athletes food in addition to the meal plan covered by the student's scholarship if the plan is approved, the release said.

The announcement comes not long after a University of Connecticut star told reporters covering the NCAA tournament that he sometimes goes to bed "starving" because he can't afford food. Shabazz Napier's remarks sparked a new discussion on what benefits athletes should receive. Napier, a senior, is a top NBA prospect.

However, the NCAA has been discussing changes to its meals rules for months.

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The decision from the Legislative Council would need to be approved by the Division I board of directors at a meeting on April 24.

"Today we took action to provide meals to student-athletes incidental to participation. I think the end result is right where it needs to be," said council chairwoman Mary Mulvenna.

As of now, NCAA rules say athletes may be provided three meals a day or a food stipend. The new rule would apply to scholarship and nonscholarship athletes.

    Other proposals from the council included reducing the penalty for first time offenders of a positive test for street drugs like marijuana during championships and requiring football players to take at least three-hour breaks between practices during preseason.

    The drugs penalty will be suspension for half a season instead of a full season, the NCAA said. If approved the measures would take effect August 1.