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UK coach John Calipari rightfully questions fairness of NCAA limiting amount of food basketball players can receive

UK coach John Calipari yells instructions to the Cats in the win over Lipscomb. (Clay Jackson photo)

UK coach John Calipari yells instructions to the Cats in the win over Lipscomb. (Clay Jackson photo)


Kentucky coach John Calipari has some interesting information at coachcal.com about how his players had lost weight during the first semester and that “part of the reason they’ve been so exhausted in practice and in games is their energy levels have been low” due to some of the players not eating enough.

Not eating enough? How can that be for a Kentucky basketball player?

Let Calipari explain.

“Under the current rules, if a young man eats at our training table and wants to take some food for later, he can’t. It’s either eat it all there or go hungry the rest of the night. We have a kitchen here that should be open for these kids whenever they want to eat. What do they do if they’re at home and they want a sandwich at night? They walk down to the kitchen and get it. My own son does that at home. Here, under the current rules we have, we can’t.

“The response we get (from the NCAA) is, ‘Well, they can eat whenever, they’ve just got to go out and buy it like a normal student.’ I hate to break it to you, these aren’t normal students. We ask a lot of them and demand a huge chunk of their schedules. They aren’t afforded the time that normal students have.

“Also, athletes do not eat three times a day. They eat – and need to eat – five, six and sometimes seven times a day. We go so hard and train so much that these kids exert and spend a lot of energy. Are we not going to let them refuel? If they want to grab some a snack at their dorm because they’re starving after a practice, we aren’t going to let them because there aren’t snacks at the other dorms?

“Now that school is out and we are able to feed the team while they’re here over the break, my guys are eating a solid three meals a day. They are gaining their weight back and showing more energy. We’re improving as a team for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because we aren’t limited in what we can feed them so they are coming to practice with more energy. They aren’t being underfed like they are during the school semesters.”

Calipari’s final line talks about the money involved in college sports and “yet we’re worried about kids eating a sandwich at night.”

Again, that’s the NCAA at its best. My guess is that if a normal UK student wants to leave the dining area with something to snack on later, he or she can. But apparently an athlete at a training table cannot during the school year but during the semester break anything goes.

How can that be?

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/calipari-rightfully-questions-fairness-of-ncaa-limiting-amount-of-food-basketball-players-can-receive/


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  1. Bob

    Question does the NCAA limit the number of sheets of paper an Athlete uses to wipe there a?? with .This is such nonesense and abuse of power .To limit axcess to food by any child and excuse thats what these Kids are Kids , is BS. I do not just mean UK Athlete’s but any school and any Kid. I wander and excuse me but i have never been one to sugar coat how many times per week does ole pimple face get hungry after an meal and stroll his fat a?? to the kitchen for an asnake . Does the NCAA have legal right to draw an line betwwen it’s policys and abuse. I have an simple answer to this issue each Athlete should seek an note from there Doctor on an healthy Diet and see if the NCAA wants to go on record as to depriving Athlete’s an safe and Healthy envirement to learn and play sports in. Larry the NCAA is outdated, an personal country club , and needs replaced . The NCAA is as our Federal Goverment everyone knows it’s not working but yet we stand back and watch it crumble before our eyes . United we stand divided we fall take an good look arround you in alot of different aspects to enclude the NCAA and you’ll see it’s not working . All the sports writters sat back and lay fame to there love of sports but do nothing about the unjust acts . Coach Cal is right it is all about the Kids yet there are the ones getting the shaft . Now food please. This makes me question where the NCAA views these kids any different from Greyhounds after there racing careers end in the old days .All the money ESPN has made off NCAA sports what have they done to help the Athlete live an better standard of life ? Question is it the sport or the profits they love .One thing for sure it’s not the Athlete.

  2. Bob

    Sorry Larry this pisses me off food please

    1. RJ

      Well at least you had the courage to say it!! NCAA is getting just about as bad as the Federal Government. In some cases worse. This is what happens when we let other people run our lives.

      1. Andy S

        Yes the federal goverment is bad until there is a disaster like hurricance Sandy and then everyone needs the federal goverment to provide aid. Can’t have it both ways.


    C’mon man. Is this a joke?

  4. Karen Sprinkle

    This is one of the most ludicrous rules the NCAA has. Realistically speaking, we all know the players get mobbed each time they go out, so popping out to the grocery store quickly in between classes, tutoring or practice is not a realistic option at UK. I guess they could pool their spending money together and send a manager out to the store, but that would probably be an NCAA violation too. Being teenagers, I would imagine that any food they buy for their rooms (surely that’s allowed, since as a regular college student, I always had snacks in my room) would not be of a healthy sort, for the most part. This is yet another example of the goofy rules the NCAA has that does not fit their stated mission of protecting the student-athlete.
    I have read that Emmert is proposing that they study the entire rule book so they can abolish rules that don’t make sense. This rule has got to be near the top of the list.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Really, ” Who Knew ” until now…this is just Stupid…Every Coach, in every Sport at every College should unite around this Issue…

  5. Larry T Clemons

    If I lived in Lexington, I would start the ” Gramma’s Club “, I would recruit elderly Ladies to Make Turkey Sandwiches for Our Players (in all our Sports)… I’m sure its not a violation to take a Turkey sandwich (Or 2)…These could be given out at the end of the day and they could take them to their rooms refrigerator…There has to be a way to get around this NCAA Issue and help these Players.

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      That’s a violation. Unless gramma hands out sandwiches to EVERY student on campus, or one’s that are away, have graduated, or thinking about enrolling…this is forbidden.


    NCAA Rules Regarding Per Diem and Meal Allowances for Student-Athletes

    Per NCAA Bylaw, all student-athletes on the same team must receive identical meal allowances on intercollegiate trips and during vacation periods when student-athletes are required to remain on campus for organized practice sessions or competition. Such allowances may not exceed the amount provided by the institution to institutional staff members on away-from-campus trips and may not be provided for a particular meal if the student-athlete receives that meal (or its equivalent) from another source (i.e., coach pays, event banquet, etc.).

    Any meal may be:

    Fed as a team meal and charged on the hotel bill,
    Fed at a remote location and paid from this advance fund, or
    Given as cash to each student with their signature on the Student Per Diem Signature Form serving as their receipt.

    The Student Per Diem Signature Form must be completed, and signatures for the exact amount of cash should be obtained by the coach. The dollar amount given to each student athlete must be posted on the student signature form at the time the student athlete signs the form and receives the money. It should be clearly explained that this signature and initialing serves as receipt of funds. Students shall not, under any circumstances: 1) be asked to sign a blank student per diem signature form, nor 2) be asked to sign the form without receiving the per diem at the same time.

    Department of Intercollegiate Athletic Policies & Procedures:

    Each Head Coach should ensure that the starting period, proper increment of petty cash for the appropriate number of meals, and the ending term for the petty cash issued are adhered to. The guidelines for these issues are as follows:

    Time frames when breakfast, lunch and dinner meal money can be provided:
    Before 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast
    Between 12:00 Noon & 1:30 p.m. – Lunch
    After 5:00 p.m. – Dinner

    Beginning Time Period for Issuing of Per Diem – Whether on or off campus, the meal money issued should start no earlier than the assembly time required for the team, (e.g. if the team is required to depart Tuscaloosa, or meet for an on campus event at 2:30 p.m., the noon increment of money cannot be issued since the student should have eaten their noon meal in their normal area.)

    Any meal which falls within the time frame of a meet, match, or game should be fed as the team meal, or the increment of meal money should be issued to the student athlete for the meal missed.

    If a team meal is purchased by the department (e.g., between double header games, or while a meet is under way, but not involving all athletes at all times) no meal money can be issued to the particular athlete who receives the provided meal, in addition to providing that meal.

    For meals not purchased by the Intercollegiate Athletics Department or another source (i.e, Event Host.), increments of meal money should be issued to athletes. The increments must meet the amounts listed in section 5(h) below.

    Ending Time Period for Issuing Per Diem – For on campus events, per diem may be issued for the projected meals that an athlete will miss through one (1) hour past the end of the last event of the day (e.g. a baseball game which ends at 5:15 p.m., would require an additional hour for interviews and showers, we would assume that the student athlete would miss a 6:00 p.m. evening meal, therefore is entitled to competition day evening meal increment of $12. If the event was scheduled at 1:00 p.m. and terminates at 4:00 p.m., the noon increment and dinner meals may be issued to student athletes.

    For off campus events, the ending time period will be the time at which athletes are released upon their return to campus.

    Different circumstances and different locations may dictate different per diems to equitably support student athletes’ meal requirements. The following guidelines will govern the amounts allowable for meal allowances for student athletes.

    Competition Days – On or Off Campus

    Breakfast $ 8.00
    Lunch 12.00
    Dinner 15.00
    Pre- or Post-Game Food Must Be Provided
    Max. Total for Day $35.00

    Note: If student dining is open, only meals missed as a result of events may be reimbursed. All practice schedules must allow for students to meet their scheduled meal times. The Associate Athletics Director for Compliance must approve any exception.

    Non-Competition Days – Off Campus or Days When Student-Athletes are Required to Remain On Campus During Official University Vacation Periods for Practice/Competition (i.e., Spring Break)

    Breakfast $ 8.00
    Lunch 12.00
    Dinner 15.00
    Max. Total for Day $35.00

    On competition days only, it is permissible to provide a post-game snack or meal (actual food only; no cash may be provided in lieu of this post-game snack/meal), depending on nutritional requirements.

    In some instances cost of living increases in certain metro areas increasing the allowable per diem to not more than $45 each day. Prior written approval from sport oversight Associate Athletic Director must be obtained.

    During NCAA Championships and bowl games, NCAA bylaw permits the institution to provide qualifying student-athletes $20 per day incidental expense money during a period limited to the maximum number of days of per diem allowed for the involved championship, or, for certified post-season bowl contests, for a period not to exceed 10 days. The $20 per day may be provided only after the team departs for or reports to the site of the championship or bowl game.

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      I guess Coach wasn’t joking.

      1. Love SEC F-Ball

        Thanks for posting the actual rule. This is ridiculous!

        What if they fly to a different time zone & miss the required eating time are they not allowed to eat? I guess they get peanuts on the plane?

    2. Gene

      Are you certain that Moochie Obama didn’t write this crap !!

    3. Kokamo Joe

      Unless I am missing something this set of rules does not relate to the training table. I believe that the rule refers the per diem allowance per student/player when he is away from home or when the training table is closed.

      But here is something that I have heard, but do not know if it is true:

      A walk on may live in the team dorm, but he cannot eat at the training table. Does anyone know if that is true?

  7. Jim Boyers

    No wonder all those North Crapolina athletes were taking bogus classes (which, oddly enough WASN’T against the rules). They were all probably too delirious from hunger to participate in a real classroom.

    Words can’t even begin to describe how much hatred I have towards the NCAA idiots. If a bus full of Mark Emmert and all his crones went through a guardrail and over a cliff, the only shame would be if there were any empty seats.

    1. gpm61

      ” If a bus full of Mark Emmert and all his crones went through a guardrail and over a cliff, the only shame would be if there were any empty seats.”

      That’s good stuff right there…lol!!!

    2. TheProfessor

      I would add that it would be a waste of a good bus, that could be used for another load of the same fools.

  8. Larry T Clemons

    NCAA SAYS to the Student-Athlete, ” Make us 100s of Millions of Dollars for the Universities and The NCAA Committee. For the Student-Athletes, ” Let Them Eat Cake “… I would love to see the NCAA Committee’s receipts ( cost,expenditures ), for Lunches and Dinners for ” their “, GUEST, Family, friends and Relatives… I say to these Marie Antionettes, ” Off With Their Heads “…

  9. Chris

    I wonder what the rule stated, when Dinner Bell Mel was here.

  10. UKFMLY

    dumbes rule ever

  11. jerry bouchet

    I bet the ones that made up this silly rule are a bunch of pot bellied slobs that eat like hogs.

  12. jerry bouchet

    This sounds like the same kind of communism that Obummer has been trying to implement

  13. Viper

    Hey Larry (and the other guys on here)! Am I the only one on here who remembers that between the ages of about 14 and 24 we ate only one meal a day. It was continuous from the time we got up until the time we went to bed. And ladies, if you have brothers you know what I mean. This rule was written by a female or a bunch of OLD guys! In the immortal words of John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious”!

    1. larryvaught

      remember those times well Viper

  14. King Ghidora

    Hey I lost 40 pounds trying to survive on the meal plan UK sold me when I lived in Holmes. I think we have old guys determining what young people should eat. I put away probably 10,000 calories a day when I was at home before going to UK. That dropped to about 3,000 eating 2 meals a day at the cafeteria. I lost weight like someone was cutting it off with a knife. Active kids need a LOT of calories. It’s insane to ask them to do without.

  15. Jeff

    Somebody with connections should get ESPN to look in to this. If this is not and abuse of power ,, I have not seen one.

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      Quit it. ESPN won’t cover this, they’ll cover UK if someone on the team farts in public. They don’t care about welfare of the players, only the negative at UK.

  16. TheColoradoWildCat

    I appreciate the comment that “…the only shame would be the empty seats…;” however, to me, the shame would be losing the bus!

    Coach Cal has hinted more than once that the BCS schools should drop out of the NCAA, and form a new alliance, somewhere down the road.

    Seems that time has arrived!

    Hey, there is Football excitement again….I love it.


    1. TheProfessor

      I just made a similar comment above before getting to yours.

      Right On.

  17. Andy S

    This certainly was not an issue raised last season, so why is this coming up now?

  18. Stacy

    I am a distance runner and a small woman. When I train I can burn up to 3500 calories on one run. I can’t possibly eat that many calories in one sitting without making myself sick!! Apparently the NCAA are NOT and have NEVER been athletes, or ridiculous rules like this would not exist!!!!

    1. larryvaught

      Stacy, amen to that. NCAA has no clue. Thanks for sharing. I’m no distance runner, but I love to eat and after runs I am starving but as you noted, I usually nibble on foods for the next several hours rather than eating one huge meal

  19. C. Johnson Jr.

    I agree with most of the comments I’ve read. However the one ref the bus, I disagree with. It would take an airplane to haul all of the ‘NCAA Sh_ _ birds’ around. Most likely, a waste of an airplane, as well. GO BIG BLUE !!!!!!

  20. JCC

    This is the first I have ever heard of this. When I was in college we had a meal ticket, looked like a credit card and we could eat at any campus cafeterias that were open. There was one open 24/7 and any athlete or student that had a meal plan could eat. When did this change? I was an athlete at a division 1 school for 5 years. I understand the kitchen being closed but are the athletes not on a meal plan like the full time students. Has this just changed that much?

    1. JCC

      OH yea, we used to say the girls picked up their freshman 20 from eating soo much.

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