Shabazz Napier is the point guard for the University of Connecticut Huskies. During his time at UConn he’s won two NCAA national championships (the second last night) and, as a senior, he’ll soon be announcing for the NBA draft where he’s generally expected to be a much sought after pick. He’s quick, he’s tough as nails, and he can shoot the lights out. He’s also apparently “starving” sometimes. Starving as in he doesn’t get enough to eat.
Yeah, looks like he can barely move. Somebody get that guy a sandwich.
Recently, Napier told reporters that on some nights he was “starving” while attending school on a full ride athletic scholarship. This after the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago decreed that Northwestern University’s football team had the right to unionize which means they’ll be able to command money over and above the amount they get in scholarships, stipends, and perks. Napier was quoted as saying that he believed the decision was “kind of great.”
Napier’s declaration of starvation got the attention of Connecticut politicians, always falling over themselves to be associated with winners even if it means they have to pretend to like Unions.
Rep. Matthew Lesser said he and other state lawmakers are considering legislation. Unlike at Northwestern, a private institution governed by the National Labor Relations Board, Connecticut law governs whether employees at a public institution can unionize.
“He says he’s going to bed hungry at a time when millions of dollars are being made off of him. It’s obscene,” Lesser said. “This isn’t a Connecticut problem. This is an NCAA problem, and I want to make sure we’re putting pressure on them to treat athletes well.”
So now the entire NCAA goes to bed “starving?” This is bullshit.
In less than a year Shabazz Napier will be a millionaire and if he manages his money right he’ll get to play pro basketball for the next 12 years and never have to work again. And all that will be thanks to the hundreds of millions that the Connecticut taxpayer has invested over decades in a basketball program that takes 18 year olds, gives them a free degree and access to one of the best coaching and training programs in the country. Napier will be a millionaire this year and he’ll have the people of Connecticut to thank for financing it and developing his talent.
And what’s more, Napier is lying. If he’s going to bed “starving” then it’s his own fault for not getting to the cafeteria by 7:30pm where he will eat more and better than most people in the U.S. He also went to Lawrence Academy, a private boarding school for high school where the tuition was either $43,500 for day students or $56,530 for a boarding student. Tough life.
UConn’s student-athlete handbook lays out provisions for dining and says athletes can eat in any residence hall between 7 a.m. and 7:15 p.m.
“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.”
Eat when everyone else eats or shut up. If NCAA basketball players don’t like it then they should go try out for the NBA D-League and skip college altogether. No one’s stopping them.
Look, it’s bad enough that Napier blistered my Wildcats for 22 points last night including some carnival style ‘from-the-parking lot’ 3 pointers but don’t force this “starving” bullshit in my ears too. I’ve got enough on my mind what with April 15th rolling around soon, like how much of my income tax is going to go to Wildcat sports scholarships.