If there's one thing we've learned from the ruling that allows NCAA Division 1 schools to feed their student-athletes however and whenever they want, it's that athletes eat a lot. And now, that "a lot" has an actual dollar amount attached to it.
The University of Southern California has announced that it plans to spend $1 million annually to ensure that each and every one of its 650+ student-athletes get the nutrition they need.
According to Sports Illustrated, this cost will be paid for by the Athletic Department. In a statement on USC's website, athletic director Pat Haden said, "I have always felt we needed to find new avenues to provide our student-athletes with the additional nutritional requirements they need to replenish their bodies after training and competition. I am delighted that USC is now allowed to do this. Although the program is a significant new expense, it is the right thing to do as we keep in mind the best interests of our student-athletes' welfare."
The school's "enhanced fueling" program will be overseen by two dietitians and include smoothie stations, snack bags and high protein foods.
In April the NCAA legislative council approved unlimited meals and snacks for Division 1 student athletes, effective August 1. The idea gained publicity after former University of Connecticut men's basketball player Shabazz Napier's confession about oft-experiencing "hungry nights" last spring.