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Fuel On

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Recent NCAA legislation will allow schools to provide nutrition to student-athletes more often, effective August 1. USC welcomes that opportunity, another step by the school in the cause of student-athlete welfare.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 4.05.37 PM.pngUSC will provide all of its 650-plus student-athletes, scholarship and walk-on, with additional and enhanced daily fueling opportunities.  This "enhanced fueling plan" will cost the USC athletic department in excess of $1 million annually.

"I have always felt we needed to find new avenues to provide our student-athletes with the additional nutritional requirements they need to replenish their bodies after training and competition," said USC athletic director Pat Haden.  "I am delighted that USC is now allowed to do this.  Although the program is a significant new expense, it is the right thing to do as we keep in mind the best interests of our student-athletes' welfare."

The athletic department already employs two sports dietitians, Becci Twombley and Kristy Morrell, to manage the nutrition of all its student-athletes.  They will oversee the enhanced "fueling" program.

"This is more than just allowing more food to be brought to the table," said Twombley, a former board member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association.  "This offers the opportunity to implement a department-wide fueling philosophy that brings the science of recovery nutrition to all 21 of USC's sports.  Providing the tools that each student-athlete needs based on their position, role and performance goals will give our student-athletes the opportunity to achieve their potential from the inside out.

"USC is one of just a few schools poised to take advantage of this new rule on a department-wide scale. Because of this, our student-athletes now will be fully prepared to compete at the highest level."

Twombley said that USC will add high protein foods to its fueling stations in the McKay Center and Galen Center, smoothie stations will be enhanced to allow for better customization of recovery fueling, and snack bags will be available to provide high antioxidant foods to control inflammation.

By adding these foods throughout the day, Twombley said that muscle growth and recovery will be more efficient, with an end result of a more resilient student-athlete. 

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Reading between the lines, I see that a well deserved, but difficult choice has been made by the USC Athletic Dept. to put the health and well-being of our student athletes before the bottom line. Fight On!

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