There are, at its latest count, 439 pages of NCAA Division I compliance regulations. And sure, with so many coaches looking to
circumvent creatively comply with those rules, it makes sense that the expansion is inevitable; every time a coach gets an insane idea to entice a recruit to campus, a rule’s got to be put into place to shut that door. And those doors stretch as far as the imagination.
At the same time, though, it’s awfully hard to make the case that every single one of those rules is necessary; after all, while nobody wants to see large sums of money funneled to players’ families or anything, there are some regulations that just boggle the imagination.
For example, George Mason (remember them?) basketball coach Jim Larranaga just tweeted this last night:
Compliance meetings begin tmw for the new year. New NCAA rule allows us to provide players bagels but no cream cheese or butter. Love it!
There is nothing I like better than a dry bagel after a hard work out. LOL
We thought, “what the hell, seriously?!” We knew that South Carolina had gotten in trouble for serving bagels, but they’re drawing cream cheese distinctions? This has to be a distortion of the truth, right?
Incredibly, no, it’s true. The CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION ($$) interviewed the associate AD at Michigan, one Judy Van Horn, and she confirms that the bureaucrats have, indeed, won:
A: These [athletes] need some nutrition, so [NCAA] legislation was passed [saying] … “It’s OK for you to give nuts, fruit, and bagels to these student athletes.” They don’t want to make it too vague so that people will push the envelope. So then we get these questions, “Can you give them cream cheese on the bagel?” And the answer is no. Sometimes the conversations we have appear not to be our highest use.
Q. Is this for real?
A. It’s for real. I’m worried about issues that are significant, that are serious—and I have to stand in front of a coach and say, “Oh, by the way, you can give your student athletes nuts and fruit and bagels, but no cream cheese on the bagel.”
All of this in protection of the exploitative cartel the NCAA runs. Oh, they’ll make unholy amounts of money on these players’ backs, but don’t they dare give these players cream cheese unless it’s the approved time for feeding. This actually happens in 21st century America. Just mind-boggling.