This year, the athletic dining hall changed vendors to Rocky Top Hospitality, which provides football players with a small morning meal, lunch and dinner. During the 2013-14 academic year, the athletic dining hall was open for lunch for all students and for dinner for all student-athletes.
Kevin Best, a spokesman for the football team, said many of the changes to dining services for student-athletes were implemented after the NCAA passed new rules during the off-season.
The new rule was passed after former standout University of Connecticut basketball player Shabazz Napier said he went to bed hungry some nights after practice in April.
The price per person for the morning meal is $6, the lunch price is $13, and dinner is $15, according to documents provided by the University.
The documents said Rocky Top Hospitality does not have a contract with the University; rather, the company provides its services on an as-needed basis.
The new legislation allows the University to provide additional meals beyond the “training table meal,” which was originally the only meal allowed by the NCAA.
The newly adopted policy, which took effect Aug. 1, allows the University to provide meals and snacks that are incidental to s tudent-athletes’ practices and games.
“In the morning, a snack — grab-and-go — is provided to the football student-athletes,” Best said. “This is not a sit-down meal.”