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Shabazz Napier is everything that the N.C.A.A. says it wants student athletes to be. And, on Monday night, the twenty-two-year-old senior scored twenty-two points while leading the University of Connecticut to a 60-54 victory over John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats for the national championship.
Napier grew up in tight circumstances in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and went to prep school on scholarship in order to qualify to play in college. He stayed at Connecticut after Jim Calhoun, the coach that recruited him, stepped down.
He stayed through the school’s temporary ban from postseason play, in 2013, for failing to meet the N.C.A.A.’s academic standards. He was tempted to leave early to try his luck in the N.B.A. draft, but ultimately decided to stay in school.
He was his conference’s player of the year, an All-America First Team selection.
And his fine play in the tournament gave him the kind of visibility that is sure to raise his draft stock among professional teams in June. His story would be the one that the keepers of the college-basketball status quo would tell to young men across the country.
Except, there is a problem. Speaking to reporters earlier in the tournament, Napier said that while he had played for Connecticut—making money for the school, his coaches, Nike, and so many other stakeholders in the system—he had not always had enough spending money to buy food.
It might have gotten lost amidst the excitement of the national championship, were the contrast between the image of a hungry student athlete and that of the immense profits made from his sport not so striking. Asked about the recent ruling that would allow members of the Northwestern football team to vote on forming a union, Napier called it “kind of great.”
A reporter asked if he considered himself an employee. No, he responded, he was a student athlete, but one who felt stretched thin. He didn’t think college kids needed to be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (he, of course, has been worth more than that to UConn over the past four years), just enough to eat.
Napier seemed to mean that literally; he talked about hungry nights. “We’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but, at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything,” he said. Athletic scholarships, which are capped in value, do not necessarily cover all of the costs of attending college, meaning that players have to pull resources together in other ways.
Those ways, of course, may not involve using their considerable celebrity to make money via related employment or endorsements. Napier talked about that, as well: “It may not have your last name on it, but when you see a jersey getting selled … you want something in return.” This is what a voice of reason sounds like.
Magic for Dogs part 2: What happens when the treat disappears? (by Jose Ahonen)
People in Western countries are consuming massive amounts of refined sugars, reaching about 150 lbs (67 kg) per year in some countries. This amounts to over 500calories of sugar per day.
The sources vary on the exact figures, but it is very clear that we are consuming way more sugar than our bodies are equipped to handle (4). Controlled human studies show that large amounts of sugar can lead to severe metabolic problems, including insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides — to name a few (5, 6).
Added sugar is believed to be one of the main drivers of diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer (7, 8, 9, 10). (via What’s Wrong With The Modern Diet [CHARTS])
Sesame Street - Captain Vegetable (by Jbrangwynne53)
A spokesman for the National Potato Council, irked that — despite a failed USDA attempt to limit potato use in new school lunch guidelines — potatoes are still passed over in favor of greener, leafier vegetables. (via bencrair)
If you haven’t already seen this spread. Amazing.