In a decision that is probably long overdue, the NCAA Legislative Council decided Tuesday that Division I student-athletes will now be able to receive “unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletics participation.”
Prior to this change, student-athletes on scholarship received three meals per day or a food stipend. Now, students will have access to as many meals as they’d like and the rule applies to walk-ons too.
“Today we took action to provide meals to student-athletes incidental to participation,” said council chair Mary Mulvenna, associate commissioner of the America East. “I think the end result is right where it needs to be.”
The Division I Board of Directors meets on April 24 where the rule is expected to be finalized.
The council also passed four other rules to:
*Require strength and conditioning coaches to be certified from a nationally accredited certification body
*Require a school staff member certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all physical, countable athletic activities
*Reduce the penalty for a first positive test for street drugs during championships; and
*Require football players to rest for at least three hours between practices during the preseason. Film review and team meetings will be allowed during this period.
Additionally, the penalty for testing positive for “street drugs,” including marijuana, will be reduced from a full season to half a season.
“Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation,” the release said.
All proposals, except the strength and conditioning coach certification, go into effect on August 1. Strength coaches will be allowed time to achieve certification before the rule goes into effect August 1, 2015.
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