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Thursday, April 10, 2014

UConn guard on unions: I go to bed 'starving'

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from

(CNN) -- He's one of the best basketball players in the country, and he led his team to victory in Monday night's NCAA championship game. But the University of Connecticut's Shabazz Napier recently told reporters he sometimes goes to bed "starving" because he can't afford food, despite that UConn's student-athlete guidelines include provisions for meal plans.

The remark got the attention of state lawmakers in Connecticut, who are now exploring legislative ways to allow athletes at UConn, a state institution, to unionize -- much like athletes are attempting at Northwestern University.

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."

Napier recently called the Northwestern union ruling "kind of great" and said that although he appreciates his basketball scholarship, it doesn't cover all of his expenses.

"I don't feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I'm starving," he said.


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