Scout Team is a walk-on football student-athlete at Ocean State University. Scout would like to eat the training meals with his teammates, but he is not receiving an athletic scholarship. If Scout pays for the meal, would he be permitted to eat with the scholarship student-athletes?
Yes. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 8/24/12-Walk-on Student-Athlete Receiving Training Table Meal (I)– states that a student-athlete who is not receiving athletically related financial aid that includes board (e.g., walk-on) may receive training table meals under any of the following circumstances:
1. The student-athlete has previously paid for all meals through a regular institutional meal plan and misses a meal due to practice activities (i.e., the meal is available in the dining hall only during the time practice is in session);
2. The student-athlete pays for the training table meal at the same rate that the institution deducts from the board allowance of student-athletes who receive athletically related aid covering board costs;
3. The student-athlete is on an institutional meal plan and pays the difference in the cost between the two meals, provided the student-athlete could not use the unused meal under the regular institutional meal plan at a later date; or
4. The student-athlete reports on call and becomes involved in activities related to a home competition.
[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 16.5.2-(d) (meals incidental to participation) and 188.8.131.52 (competition while representing institution) and a 8/25/04 staff interpretation, item 1a and a 5/12/93 staff interpretation, item c, which have been archived]