NCAA committee approves expanded meal allowance
Legislative council approves unlimited meals
The NCAA’s Legislative Council approved a proposal Tuesday to expand the meal allowance for all athletes.
The move occurred eight days after Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier complained during the Final Four that he sometimes went to bed “starving” because he couldn’t afford food.
The proposal would allow Division I schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks to all athletes, including walk-ons. The measure still must be approved by the board of directors, which meets April 24.
“I think the end result is right where it needs to be,” committee chairwoman and America East assistant commissioner Mary Mulvenna said in a statement released by the governing body.
The proposal has been debated for months, but Napier’s comments following last week’s national championship game brought attention to the topic. Napier was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament, leading Connecticut to its fourth men’s title.
Schools have been allowed to provide three meals per day or a stipend for those meals to scholarship athletes. The new rule would allow walk-ons to receive the same allowances and would allow schools to provide more meals and snacks, too.
The committee also approved a measure that would reduce the penalty for a first positive drug test — if the banned substance is determined to be something other than a performance-enhancing drug. Currently, players who fail the test during NCAA tournaments must sit out one full season. The proposal would cut the penalty to half a season.
Masters ratings drop
The lack of drama on the back nine Sunday, compounded by the absence of Tiger Woods, led to low television ratings for the Masters.
CBS’ coverage drew a 7.8 national overnight rating for the final round, which saw Bubba Watson win by three shots over Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt. The rating was down 24 percent from 10.2 for last year’s final round, which ended with Adam Scott winning in a playoff.
Third-round coverage Saturday posted a 4.4 rating on CBS, down 30 percent from 6.3 for last year’s third round.
Cooke leads Senior PGA Professional Championship
Stan Cooke shot a 7-under 65 in windy conditions to take the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The 53-year-old Cooke, the PGA general manager and director of golf at Ocala (Fla.) National, played the last 10 holes in 7 under on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course. He eagled the par-5 16th, hitting a hybrid to 15 feet, and closed with a birdie.
Kessler remains USC starting QB over Browne
Cody Kessler is still USC’s starting quarterback after holding off a challenge from Max Browne, the former Skyline star, during the Trojans’ spring workouts.
New coach Steve Sarkisian, the former Washington coach, confirmed Kessler’s spot Tuesday night after USC’s penultimate practice of the spring.
Sarkisian also says the competition will continue in fall camp.
Orlando adds third bowl
Orlando will host a third college football bowl game at the Citrus Bowl, sources told The Orlando Sentinel.
The Orlando Sports Foundation, which originally pitched the Cure Bowl as a game that could be played at UCF’s Bright House Networks Stadium and would benefit breast cancer-related charities, will manage the new bowl. The game is expected to match teams from the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt.
Djokovic rolls in Monte Carlo Masters
Novak Djokovic began the defense of his Monte Carlo Masters title in flamboyant style, taking only 45 minutes to beat Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 and maintain his perfect record against the Spaniard.
The second-ranked Serb won 11 consecutive games and improved to 6-0 against Montanes, who has taken only one set off Djokovic.
• Eugene is bidding to bring track and field’s world championships to the United States for the first time.
The IAAF said the Oregon city is one of three candidates in contention for the 2019 championships, along with Doha, Qatar, and Barcelona, Spain. The host city will be selected at the next IAAF council meeting in Monaco in November.
• America’s Cup sailor Dirk de Ridder has been suspended from sanctioned events for five years by sailing’s international governing body, two people with knowledge of the decision said.
The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the suspension is being appealed.
Unless a review board or the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturns the suspension, it effectively ends de Ridder’s sailing career.
• Mollie Marcoux has been hired as Princeton’s athletic director, leaving her job as a sports management executive and returning to the school where she starred in two sports.
Times staff and news services