CPSDA Advocacy

In 2009, The Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association was formed and immediately began to advocate for registered dietitians to be hired into full-time positions while also advocating much needed feeding and recovery changes within the NCAA rules and regulations. CPSDA members provide a strong and unified voice in acquainting key stakeholders on the importance of feeding, recovering and overall-health of student-athletes. CPSDA recognizes that food deregulation and supplement changes will allow institutions to properly nourish student-athletes to help ensure their health and to enhance their athletic and academic performance.

The timeline below illustrates the diligent and consistent work of CPSDA's Board of Directors and our members.

Advocacy Timeline

August 1991
August 1991

August 1991

NCAA creates rule to limit meals and snacks in order to prevent better-funded athletic programs from gaining unfair advantage.

1991-2004
1991-2004

1991-2004

NCAA member schools feed athletes one meal per day up to five days a week along with snacks, which were limited to fruits, nuts and bagels.

May 2010

May 2010

CPSDA is officially incorporated – dedicated to advocating for the proper feeding of college athletes – and embarks on campaign to underscore the lack of athlete nutritional support within the NCAA. News stories are published on the AP wire and in the Wall Street Journal.

June 2012

June 2012

CPSDA board member Amy Freel, Director of Sport Performance Nutrition at Indiana University, becomes first sports dietitian to serve on the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport.

October 2012
October 2012

October 2012

CPSDA issues first position stand, “Recommended Feeding Protocols For All Athletes”, on properly fueling athletes and continues campaign to lift feeding restrictions in the NCAA.

April 2014
April 2014

April 2014

NCAA lifts restrictions on feeding – effective August 1, 2014.

Click here to read more about the deregulation of feeding.

June 2015
June 2015

June 2015

Sports Nutrition Summit – A meeting was held to discuss the NCAA’s 30% Protein Rule Bylaw16.5. 2 (g), which currently states that “nutritional supplements containing more than 30 percent of calories from protein are classified as muscle-building supplements and may not be provided to student-athletes.  Additionally, the concept of 3rd party testing supplements was discussed. In attendance at this meeting were CPSDA members Randy Bird, Amy Freel and Jen Ketterly, John Travis from NSF, Mark Kovasc from GSSI, and representatives from both Drug Free Sport and NCAA Sport Science Institute.

December 2015

December 2015

CPSDA member Randy Bird, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Virginia, was appointed as a voting member of the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards (CSMAS) and Medical Aspects of Sports through August 2019.

January 2017
January 2017

January 2017

The NCAA Division I Council has approved the recommendation of the NCAA CSMAS to remove restrictions on protein from the rules that govern feeding student-athletes. The rule change does away with the long-standing “30% rule,” which limited the amount of protein in nutritional supplements to no more than 30% of the total calories.

Amy Freel, former CPSDA board member and current CPSDA Executive Directory, worked with CPSDA and SCAN leadership to bring this rule change under consideration.

January 2019
January 2019

January 2019

Omega-3 Fatty Acids was voted on and approved to be added to the permissible nutrition supplement category. The NCAA  amended legislation now allows institutions to provide Omega-3 fatty acids. The legislation now states: "An institution may provide permissible nutritional supplements to a student-athlete for the purpose of providing calories and electrolytes. Permissible nutritional supplements do not contain any NCAA banned substances and are identified according to the following classes: carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks, energy bars, carbohydrate boosters, protein supplements, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals."

Click here to view the 2018-2019 Research Award Study Infographic ‘Omega-3 Status of Collegiate Athletes’ by CPSDA members Peter Ritz and Michelle Rockwell.

Sept 2019

Sept 2019

CPSDA member Auburn Weisensale, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh, was appointed as a voting member of the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports through August 2022.

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