It didn't take long for the NCAA's decision to allow schools to provide unlimited snacks to athletes for one of them to flip the new freedom into what amounts to a facilities advantage.
Oklahoma is planning to purchase a food truck, according to espn.com. But pay no attention to the aesthetic appeal or the wide-eyed recruits who surely won't forget seeing it when they visit the Sooners' campus, says athletic director Joe Castiglione.
"We don't have facilities in all the places they would need to be, so the idea is to have a mobile fueling station and perhaps some additional trailers that have refrigeration capabilities that can operate as a prep kitchen of sorts," Castiglione said, adding that it's "not about largesse or excessiveness."
There is certainly an argument to be made that a food truck could greatly increase efficiency in feeding hundreds of student-athletes who can be scattered all over various practice fields at any given time. But there's also no denying that OU has stumbled onto a unique idea that will stand apart as a facilities upgrade for as long as the Sooners are the only school doing so.
The way big-time college athletics works, it won't be long before the idea catches fire.
Athletes will surely be disappointed, however, if they approach the truck hoping to score a greasy burger or a pizza slice that attracts public consumers on busy street corners. More likely, they'll be handed the things coaches want their athletes consuming: Fruits, nuts, and protein bars that taste like cardboard.