College athletics departments still looking for direction from NCAA about meals

What the NCAA determines as a snack and a meal is still unclear for many schools.

IOWA CITY, Iowa—Few cases of NCAA bureaucracy were more derided than what the organization determined was a meal and a snack.

“One of the examples (NCAA President Mark Emmert) used was a snack. You’re permitted a bagel — that is a snack,” Wisconsin Athletics Director Barry Alvarez said. “But a bagel with cream cheese is considered a meal. That’s how trivial some of the rules were.”

The NCAA has loosened its food grip and the legislative council voted in mid-April to approve unlimited meals and snacks to student-athletes. Unless member schools initiate a rule override — which is unlikely with autonomy for larger conferences almost a cinch — the legislation goes into effect Aug. 1.