NCAA Leans Toward Unlimited Feeding… Now What?
by Paul Steinbach April 2014
The NCAA legislative council approved Tuesday the removal of rules limiting Division I member schools as to what and how often they can feed student-athletes, satisfying sports nutritionists who had long lobbied for such action. Still, the decision caught Dave Ellis, a past president of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association, by surprise. He feels the NCAA was likely swayed by University of Connecticut men's basketball player Shabazz Napier's oft-quoted admission earlier this month that he and his teammates frequently experience "hungry nights."
"The NCAA needs a 'W' on the student-athlete welfare front," Ellis told AB via e-mail Tuesday night. "Maybe we had a little influence, too. It's all good. A historic day for fueling."
The question remains as to what schools will do with this new feeding freedom, which still must gain NCAA board of directors approval April 24. Those athletic departments with sufficient resources will certainly take advantage of one more means to gain a competitive edge — or at least keep pace — with rival schools in recruiting and on the field. "We do need to see if the ADs follow through," Ellis says, cautioning that the new ruling "could get pushback from member institutions."
Reached for further comment today, Ellis adds that the ruling has the potential to draw several athletics administrators (beyond registered dietitians, if a given school even has one) closer to the training table — from marketers seeking cost-efficiencies from vendors to development officers linking donations to expanded food supplies. "Where there is no Sports RD, you simply have overworked people saying, 'Who is going to manage?' At financially overstretched schools, you have people saying, 'How are we going to pay?' " Ellis says. "At schools where you have a Sports RD, they are saying, 'Let's get started and here is a first step. Here is how we are going to get more for our money, and here are our priorities over the next three years.' "
Regardless of their given circumstances, all athletic departments should be thinking along the same lines, according to Ellis. " 'Longterm, here is what we are going to do out of our own dining hall so we can better meet the needs of our athletes who compete and eat on weekends and holidays and during late hours,' " he says. "It becomes a simple exercise when someone in athletics shows some vision and leadership on a fundamental underpinning of student-athlete welfare versus flinching like the sky if falling."
Looking Back to 1989: Future Games
by Rick Berg April 2014
A March court ruling granting football players at Northwestern University the right to unionize has left everyone speculating about the future of the NCAA, but such speculation has been floating around longer than most of today’s college athletes have been alive. Check out the predictions about the NCAA’s future set forth in this AB article from December 1989.
College Rec Race: Then and Now
by Super User April 2014
In the April issue of Athletic Business, we took a look at how current trends in college recreation compared to those 15 years ago, when AB teamed up with architectural firm RDG of Des Moines, Iowa, to address design and operation needs. Check out the full article here.
Demand for recreation and fitness spaces has only increased since 1999, and colleges have been struggling to keep up. After more than 30 years of falling behind, students at the University of Wisconsin voted 12,070 to 1,914 to approve a segregated fee increase that will fund a $223 million renovation of its facilities. Below is a breakdown of how their current amenities compare to their Big Ten counterparts.
Click the chart below to compare how space for fitness is currently allocated in facilities across the Big Ten:
Universities haven't been sitting idle these past few years. Check out this rundown of the major campus rec construction in the Big Ten:
Spelman College President Talks Wellness Revolution
by Paul Steinbach February 2014
Soon after becoming president of Spelman College in 2002, Beverly Tatum championed the school’s move to NCAA Division III athletics. But realizing years later that Spelman was spending $1 million annually on only 80 of 2,100 students at the historically black women’s college, she decided to discontinue intercollegiate athletics altogether in favor of what she calls a campuswide “wellness revolution.” Last spring, even before the Jaguars competed in their final intercollegiate sporting event (a tennis match), the Atlanta school’s first-ever Founder’s Day 5K run was front-page news in the Sunday New York Times. This summer, Spelman will break ground on an $18 million multipurpose fitness facility replacing the antiquated Read Hall and featuring expanded group exercise, weight training and aquatic spaces, as well as a demonstration kitchen. Senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Tatum to reflect on her dramatic change of mind.
Notre Dame Announces $400M Stadium Expansion
by Michael Gaio January 2014
The University of Notre Dame announced a plan Wednesday to expand the school's 84-year-old football stadium. The $400 million project will add between 3,000 or 4,000 premium seats and new academic buildings on three sides of the stadium. The view of "Touchdown Jesus" will remain unchanged.
Blog: Prioritizing The Student-Athlete a Must for ADs
by Dennis Van Milligen January 2014
Since I have been a member of the AB team, I have had the fortunate opportunity to chronicle the challenges high school athletic administrators are facing in today's high-pressure, win-at-all-costs environment. We hear about all the steps that are being taken to protect the student-athlete from a physical standpoint, but what about from an emotional and psychological standpoint?
Alabama Succeeds in Keeping Students at Football Game
by Michael Gaio October 2013
In Alabama, passion for the mighty Crimson Tide washes over the entire state. Consequently, when head football coach Nick Saban speaks, people listen. So last week, when Saban blasted Bama fans for leaving games early, the university listened.
College Dance Department, Fitness Coexist in Maximization of Space
by Steve Nelson October 2013
When Kendall Hall was constructed in 1950, replacing Blanchard Hall gymnasium on the Mount Holyoke College campus, it must have been a wonder.
How Oregon Converts a Practice Facility into a Moneymaking Party
by Paul Steinbach August 2013
How Oregon has mastered the moneymaking conversion of a practice facility into game-day party central.
Schools Strategize to Increase Student Football Attendance
by Paul Steinbach June 2013
Ohio University students traversing campus in the fall can't help but notice the posters and flyers promoting the Bobcats' next home football game. Sidewalk chalk and a graffiti wall reinforce the message. Student Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are likewise plastered with daily reminders and paid advertising during game week.