“Shabazz Napier, point guard for The University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team, recently told reporters he understands why athletes at Northwestern need a union, as he sometimes has to go to bed ‘starving’ because he cannot afford food.”
What? Apparently the whiner had enough calories to expend to help his team win the NCAA national championship last night. Does this kid know what it means to be starving?
I was on an athletic scholarship at an NCAA school, and I can tell you that I never went to bed either hungry or starving, and I weighed more than Shabazz Napier. We are both 6’ 1” tall. He weighs 182 pounds. When I was in college I weighed around 220 pounds, and I got plenty to eat, and most of the time I didn’t have a dime to my name.
Being on an athletic scholarship is a lot of work. It’s time consuming, especially for a sport like basketball. But I’ve never heard of anybody “starving” since most schools have lavish spreads for food.
Liberals would love to have athletes unionize. More liberal votes. Naturally, the Connecticut AFL-CIO is behind the unionizing effort as they were behind unionizing the TSA. Unions are a slam dunk for the Democrat Party.
So it’s not surprising that “State Rep. Patricia Dillon, D-New Haven said she intends to propose enabling legislation if state law is a barrier to athletes forming unions at public schools in Connecticut.”
But let’s get back to the starving claim:
“Shabazz Napier, like all our scholarship athletes, is provided the maximum meal plan that is allowable under NCAA rules. UConn does not have a cafeteria devoted specifically to student-athletes, but they have access to the same cafeterias which are available to all our students,” Phil Chardis said in an statement.
“UConn’s Student Athlete Handbook outlines that UConn’s athletes with a meal plan have access to the all-you-can-eat dining facilities that are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”
All you can eat! Actually, all anybody can eat. It’s not just for athletes. You’ve heard of the “Freshman 15,” the weight often gained during a student’s first year at college.
When I was in college, the football players had their own “training table.” I was able to eat there for a time. It was sumptuous fare. Some colleges may still have “training tables” for the money sports like football and basketball, but NCAA rules may not allow it.
I never resented getting to participate in a sport I loved and having a school pay for my education. If I wanted extra spending money, I worked. I worked during the summer months and saved money for school when I couldn’t work during track season.
It’s time these pampered athletes learn the lessons of life. No one’s forcing them to sign a letter of intent to play a college sport.
What happens when an athlete underperforms? Should he or she have to pay back scholarship money? When I lost interest in track and field by senior year, I could have continued on, but I would have been underperforming, so I gave up my scholarship and paid my own way.
Life’s tough. Learning these types of lessons early go a long way to develop character that will last a lifetime. Shabazz Napier seems to be developing an early entitlement mentality. He should be thankful for what he’s achieved and take his experiences — good and bad — with him to the next level of his life.