Are College Athletes Underfed?
Many people think of their college sports teams as gods, holding them on the highest pedestal. Others question their fifteen minutes of fame and the privileges that come with it. There have been many allegations of athletes taking money, free gifts, and skipping out on rules. Many think of these "gods" as being overly privileged and getting the upper hand. Some, however, are raising the theory that athletes are being underfed.
“The perception, for the general public, is that the day they get to school and get their tennis shoes, they are getting this entry into a world where the horn of plenty is always there for them,” said Dave Ellis, a sports dietitian for 30 years, who has fed teams at Nebraska and Wisconsin.
This misconception seems to be proven wrong by the N.C.A.A., who is only required to provide one "training meal" to scholarship athletes no matter what sports team. There are also some snacks included such as fruit, nuts, bagels and sometimes energy bars.
The Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association is trying to look out for all teams demanding that they do away with the one meal a day rule and implement the provision of unlimited food throughout the day. This will give the athletes the ability to fully recover from a day of strenuous practice and exhaustion.
It seems that the dietitians story faltered by not discussing how athletes with scholarships are allowed a meal plan, which provided them three meals a day just like the rest of the student body. This, of course, started a bit of a stir in the debate. To many on-lookers, athletes are far from starvation, but others say that is not the case. Some athletes will go all day without food before practice.
The N.C.A.A has been looking into improved nutrition programs, but progress is slow moving. A few years ago, they started allowing the added snacks such as nuts and fruit to be provided at all times. Goodies such as peanut butter and jelly have not yet been added to the snack menu. Any of these nutritional additions would increase tuition, which is never the popular vote for current and soon-to-be college attendees.
The real question is, are they currently underfed or soon to be overfed?