All the post-White House offers of free food to Clemson football players probably aren't NCAA compliant

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A lot of people want to do better than what they feel President Trump did regarding food for Clemson. (Via REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
A lot of people want to do better than what they feel President Trump did regarding food for Clemson. (Via REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

As Clemson players’ digestive systems recover from their fast food-fueled visit to the White House on Monday, some celebrities have chimed in and offered to feed the players a proper meal in honor of their National Championship Game win over Alabama.

Former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan made an offer on Good Morning America Tuesday morning.

Rapper Quavo also made an offer of food and a good time.

And so did restauranteur Nick Kokonas, the proprietor of some of the most expensive and famous restaurants in the country.

These offers sound pretty awesome. Who doesn’t want to go to a fancy restaurant, hang with one of the coolest rappers around, and talk football with Michael Strahan? There’s just one tiny problem. NCAA rules.

It’s considered an impermissible benefit under NCAA rules to accept goods or services as an athlete if those goods and services are provided for free or at a discounted rate because you’re an athlete. Here’s a breakdown of what can be considered an impermissible benefit from Arizona State’s compliance site:

The following are categories of benefits that NCAA legislation prohibits boosters and other athletics stakeholders from providing:

Getting a free meal at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the country or hanging out with Quavo and Migos because you won the national title sure sounds like preferential treatment, right? Clemson’s compliance department sure doesn’t want to deal with the potential headache that these free meal offers could cause if they were executed.

Of course, the NCAA isn’t exactly steadfast with the preferential treatment rules. Notre Dame basketball player Arike Ogunbowale got a waiver from the NCAA to be on “Dancing With The Stars” despite how obvious it was that her title-winning shot was what made her worthy of the show in the first place. It could give Clemson players a waiver to take advantage of the free food offers.

But we probably won’t even get to the waiver consideration point anyway. Clemson organizing an event for their players to take advantage of a better meal provided by someone else would be a public slight toward the meal President Donald Trump provided for the team. Do you think Clemson wants to get in the business of potentially slighting the president’s food choices?

The Tigers’ White House visit has already become one of the oddest in recent memory. It seems unlikely that Clemson would want to keep the weird saga going.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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