Athletes, schools adjust to new NCAA food rules

As football season starts, Big Ten colleges discuss ways to meet new guidelines for student athletes and free food.

CHICAGO—Although the NCAA buffet opens today, all-you-can-eat chicken wings, nacho bars and pizza buffets are not on the menu.

But Big Ten football players are anxious to sample the fare they will receive as administrators try to figure out how to pay for the tab created by an NCAA rule change taking effect today which provides student-athletes with unlimited meals and snacks.

“Sounds good, at least that is what I’m telling people,’’ Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis said. “I think it’s a needed change, something that will help us find food at the times when we need it.’’

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior said he has left an early morning workout and headed to class without grabbing breakfast more than once during his time on campus.

“I think that’s more of what this is about than anything, making healthy food available to us during times that might not be normal meal times,’’ Davis said.

That doesn’t stop the questions players are receiving from family and friends.

“People joke all the time about us getting steak and shrimp every night, but it doesn’t work that way and it won’t,’’ Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner said. “It’s about providing us food we need in order to be able to perform and train at a high level and making it available at times when we need it.’’

At Iowa, student-athletes on scholarship who live in dormitories receive the top-level food plan offered to residents of student housing. Those who live off campus receive the financial equivalent of that food plan if they opt not to participate in the dormitory food program.

Student-athletes receive a stipend to cover the cost of a meal at times when the dormitory cafeterias are closed.

Training tables are also offered in each sport five times per week to help ensure that nutritional needs are being met.

For football players at Iowa, in-season training table meals are scheduled on Monday and Friday mornings and after practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The school pays for all meals when the team is traveling.

The rule change also now allows walk-ons to participate in the full food and snack program, something that was not the case in the past.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

FSD Resources