University of Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier is playing tonight in the NCAA championship against the University of Kentucky, a game that brings the NCAA millions of dollars.
According to PolicyMic.com, the NCAA signed a $771 million per year deal with CBS in 2010 for March Madness coverage that goes for 14 years. Forbes reports that a trip to the Final Four makes $9.5 million for that school's conference.
However, Napier won't share in any of these riches, in fact, he recently revealed there are nights when he goes to bed hungry.
“We as student athletes get utilized for what we do so well," Napier told The Connecticut Mirror. "We are definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but at the end of the day, that doesn't cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don't have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed."
“To some credit, you feel like you want something in return,” Napier added. “Like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I am starving. So something can change, something should change.”
In response, UConn spokesman Phil Chardis said in an emailed statement to The Connecticut Mirror, "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.”
The New York Times reported in 2012 that the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association asked the NCAA to get rid of its one-meal-per-day limit and “instead permit unlimited interval feedings as needed throughout the day to fully restore athletes and make them whole again.”