CPSDA Newsroom

Northwestern football players to cast union vote
April 25, 2014, 
EVANSTON, Ill.—Northwestern University football players will vote on whether to unionize Friday morning, but regardless of the outcome—which might not be known for months—the balance of power between student-athletes and the schools they play for has shifted, said experts from both inside and outside college athletics.  "This marks a turning point," said Michael LeRoy, a labor-relations expert and professor at the University of Illinois. "They are openly questioning the amateur athlete paradigm. This is a signature moment in thex history of college athletics."  Click here to download full story. 
Source: story by Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal online April 25, 2014

NCAA ensures athletes will get all they can eat

April 24, 2014--When the University of Mississippi wanted to improve its athletic performance, Athletic Director Ross Bjork went beyond having the weight room renovated or updating the training facilities. He also drafted plans to build a state-of-the-art cafeteria.  Bjork hired a sports nutritionist and a certified chef, and the food budget at the new dining hall nearly tripled to more than $1.3 million annually. The menus included prime rib, made-to-order pasta and an omelet station set up for Ole Miss’s athletes. Click here to download full story. 
Source: The New York Times, story by Zach Schonbrun, April 24, 2014

Results of union vote won't be known for months
April 25, 2014--
Friday is Election Day at Northwestern, but there's no risk of a news network ruining the suspense by projecting a winner before the polls close at noon. The football players' vote on whether to unionize will come to an unsatisfying end for anyone accustomed to getting answers at the click of a mouse. It's the equivalent of a cricket match that goes on … and on … and on. The National Labor Relations Board will impound the votes until its national office weighs in on the ruling of the regional director. That could take months.  Click here to download full story. 
Source: Chicago Tribune, story by Teddy Greenstein April 25m 2014

Fueling the Gamecocks takes a full-time focus

April 27, 2014--College football players are constantly being addressed, counseled, poked and prodded. Between coaches, academic advisors, trainers and managers, any newcomer to the staff has to come up with something fresh and unique to get a player to turn his head, especially after a two-hour practice in full pads.  Joey Blake (left) found a way. 
“Gushers,” he proudly said of the fruit snacks. “We had them out after practice and all the guys were running by, then a couple snapped their heads back. ‘Whoa, we got Gushers? Cool!’ ”  Click here to download full story.

Source: The State and GoGamecocks.com, story by David Cloninger, April 27, 2014

MLB Teams learning the value of nutrition

April 24, 2014--
A few years back, players such as C.J. Wilson, Bronson Arroyo and David Lough felt as though they were speaking in a foreign language when they talked to teammates about the benefits of healthy eating.  With advanced knowledge of nutrition, they extolled the virtues of lean protein, organic produce, a gluten-free diet and the right vitamins while many around them were gorging on pizza and lasagna. Click here for full story featuring CPSDA VP Becci Twombley from USC (right).
Source: USA Today, story by Jorge L. Ortiz, April 24, 2014

NCAA leans toward 'unlimited feeding'...now what?
April 24, 2014--The NCAA legislative council approved (in April) the removal of rules limiting Division I member schools as to what and how often they can feed student-athletes, satisfying sports nutritionists who had long lobbied for such action. Still, the decision caught Dave Ellis, a past president of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association, by surprise. He feels the NCAA was likely swayed by University of Connecticut men's basketball player Shabazz Napier's oft-quoted admission earlier this month that he and his teammates frequently experience "hungry nights."  "The NCAA needs a 'W' on the student-athlete welfare front," Ellis told AB via e-mail Tuesday night. "Maybe we had a little influence, too. It's all good. A historic day for fueling."  Click here to download full story.
Source:  Athletic Business, story by Paul Steinbach April 24, 2014

How the NCAA plans to change (by Harris Pastides, President, University of South Carolina)
April 20, 2014--Shoring up the levee prior to Hurricane Katrina could have prevented the massive flooding that devastated New Orleans.  Determined not to make mistakes similar to those made in Louisiana, the NCAA more than three years ago began down a path toward transformation. Now, even amid rising waters, we are nearing the end of extensive work to shore up our governance structure, and soon we will provide better support for student-athletes. Click here to download full story.
Source: Commentary by Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina, as it appeared in Chicago Tribune April 20, 2014

NCAA Approves Unlimited Meals for Division 1 Athletes

April 15, 2014--In a locker room in AT&T Stadium after the University of Connecticut Huskies won the NCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship, UConn’s star player, Shabazz Napier, sat in a locker room.  Like many champions before him, he sat with media members’ recorders in front of his face engaging in a post-game interview.  While there was nothing extraordinary about the setting, it was the words that came out of Napier’s mouth that made the interview out of the ordinary:  ”Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities.”  Click here to download full story.
Source: Forbes Online, story by Alicia Jessop, contributor, April 15, 2014

How Oregon got big...getting stronger by eating more
April 15, 2014, Eugene: 
Standing in the middle of Oregon's sleek training room, Adam Korzun's office is all floor-to-ceiling smoked glass and dimmed lights. It is, he concedes, exactly what people envision when he tells them he is the Ducks’ director of sports nutrition. "It's a quote-unquote 'glamorous' ideal for a profession," said Korzun, 33, who joined UO two years ago.  Except, he's rarely in that enviable office. On a recent morning, he was instead next door at the Hatfield-Dowlin football complex, de-stemming 30 pounds of green beans in Oregon's athletics cafeteria as part of the next day's menu served to the football, baseball and lacrosse teams. It’s not uncommon to find him moving a pallet of Gatorade from the Moshofsky Center next door, one of 12 that Oregon athletes will drink in a week. Click here to download full story.
Source: The Oregonian, story by Alicia Jessop, contributor, April 15, 2014

NCAA May Revise Rules on Feeding Athletes
April 14, 2014--There is one topic on which Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier agree: The NCAA’s rules on feeding players are nuts. Schools are allowed to provide athletes with one specially prepared training-table meal per day, plus meals surrounding competition, travel and vacation during the season. But partial-scholarship athletes, walk-ons and players who live off campus are often on their own. That could change Tuesday, when the NCAA Division I Legislative Council considers a proposal that would permit schools to feed athletes pretty much whenever and however they want. The legislation would take effect Aug. 1.  Click here to read full story.
Source: Wall Street Journal, story by Rachel Bachman, April 14, 2014

Nutrition center to provide valuable benefits to LSU student-athletes     
Baton Rouge, LA November 21, 2013--Part of the athletic department’s mission is to provide student-athletes with “the resources necessary to pursue championships, to graduate and to become productive citizens.”  LSU coaches and staff noticed a trend in college athletics that will help the department continue to carry out that mission – a nutrition center.  Student-athletes already learn nutrition methods from Jamie Meeks, coordinator for sports nutrition for LSU athletics. Meeks teaches them how to properly fuel their body and meet their personal nutritional needs. Click here to read full story.
Source: Story by Bria Turner, LSUSports.net

Eating Right: Bonci advocates 'color on the plate' that's not fruit loops

Washington DC, November 20, 2013:  Sports dietician Leslie Bonci, who is employed by the Washington Nationals, has seen the change the last few years in baseball players.  They want to get better, and not just by playing the sport, but by improving their strength and conditioning. Bonci said that begins with nutrition. And that is where she helps the Nationals players, especially at the minor league level. "It has really been a positive transition in baseball," Bonci said. "Nutrition is moving up on the priority list. Even at the minor league level, realizing you can't have one without the other. You are only going to grow a muscle to a certain extent if you lift. You have to have the hand-to-mouth lifting, as well, in order to really get the outcome that you want."  Click here to download full story.
Source: Story by Byron Kerr, MASNsports.com

Sports RD Media Minute:
Tiffany Byrd at Oklahoma

Shawn Zell: The fuel behind the St. Louis Rams
St. Louis, October 22, 2013--The St. Louis Rams’ roster is composed of players representing diverse cities, neighborhoods and cultures that extend beyond the walls of the United States. So understandably when it comes to food, no two players have the same taste buds, let alone nutritional needs. In comes Shawn Zell – the National Football League’s first duel dietitian and chef – who merges health and nutrition into delectable food options for the team.  Click here for the full story.
Source: Tiffany White, StLouisRams.com

CPSDA Board reaffirms its trust in 'NSF Certified for Sport' procedures

October 15, 2013--NSF International is a preeminent public health and safety organization in the U.S., and the only one approved as a "sponsor partner" by the Board of Directors for the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA).  The CPSDA Board reaffirmed this month that it continues to rely on NSF's public health standards, and places its trust in NSF's testing and periodic auditing procedures applied to ensure that a product is safe before earning "NSF Certified for Sport" designation.

As a service to the CPSDA membership, the Board asked NSF to list the key features required to earn "NSF Certified for Sport" designation, which we're pleased to pass along to our members:
  • NSF tests for 180+ athletic banned substances
  • NSF tests for supplement fact label claims, so that you know "what's on the label is really in the bottle!"
  • NSF tests for heavy metals, micro, pesticides, PCB/Dioxin, and other contamination
  • NSF has the only ANSI-accredited Dietary Supplements program that exists:  NSF/ANSI Standard 173
  • NSF audits the product manufacturing facility twice annually for "Good Manufacturing Practices" in accordance with the FDA's regulation 21CFR111
  • NSF does its own testing in its ISO 17025, DEA-approved lab at NSF corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • The NSF test report shows actual detection levels and the actual results for each ingredient tested; the report does not simply read "no substances found"
  • The NSF test report shows the actual testing methods used
  • NSF Certified for Sport does not allow weight loss products in the program
  • NSF Certified for Sport does not allow sexual enhancement products in the program
  • NSF Certified for Sport does not allow caffeine products with levels over 150 mg/serving and 300 mg/day in the program
  • NSF Certified for Sport is recognized by MLB, MLBPA, NFL, NFLPA, NHL, PGA, LPGA, CCES, our military men and women, police departments, and others

Furthermore, even the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Supplement 411 website lists five things athletes should look for when purchasing supplements that are "third-party certified," and the NSF Certified for Sport program is the only one in existence that indeed features all five components:
  1. Be free from conflicts of interest.
  2. Have external accreditations such as ISO Guide 65--general requirements for bodies operating product certification systems or equivalent, and ISO17025--general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
  3. Conduct an audit of the supplement company to Good Manufacturing Practices (CFR 111). The third party testing company (or another vendor if this step is outsourced) should offer proof of qualifications to conduct the audit.
  4. Evaluate the dietary supplement for overall safety and quality (preferably according to NSF/ANSI 173 Dietary Supplements).
  5. Have validated and accredited methods to test for prohibited substances in sport.  
For further information, contact:
Lisa Thomas, Business Unit Manager, Dietary Supplements & Sports Nutrition
NSF International
Email:  lthomas@nsf.org
Phone: 248-249-2005
Fax:     734-827-7819
Websites: www.nsf.orgwww.nsfsport.com

News Story:  Improving Performance: Universities using nutrition to help their athletes play better (featuring Sports RD Beth Wolfgram)
 (Click here to view download story)
Source: The Deseret News, Sept. 24, 2013

News Story:  Virginia Tech Nutritionist (Jennie Schafer) helps Hokies get proper fuel

 (Click here to view download story)
Source: The Roanoke Times Sept. 6, 2013

Performance-enhancing 'food' finally finds traction
CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Strength training surged during the 1980s, as did sports medicine, when major college and professional sports coaches realized that X's and O's alone could not compete with teams that fortified game plans with more muscle, greater endurance and faster recovery after injury.  

Sports nutrition announced its coming-out party at about the same time, but precious few showed up in the dining hall.  With so many new dollars going to weight rooms and training rooms, one might argue, little funding remained to prioritize healthy foods and teach athletes how to capitalize on one basic premise: food is fuel, and nutrient-rich food is high-octane fuel.   

That's been changing since about 2005, when athletic directors and head football coaches at the major colleges—agenda setters for some of the most noteworthy advances in sports—discovered the secret of sports nutrition: it's less about fueling up before exercise and more about refueling immediately after exercise to rebuild muscle tissue and restore expended nutrients.   

Revelations this summer that outed a dozen (if not 13) Major League Baseball players using performance-enhancing drugs turned the heretofore silent majority of clean players against PED cheaters for the first time, at least publicly.  If this level of vilification holds up—branding PED cheats as "selfish" and "unfair" for gaining a competitive advantage—the logical path forward is that more coaches will urge players to fully embrace nutrition to get the most out of their athleticism.  And the timing could not be better.  

Four years ago, 20 Sports Registered Dietitians (Sports RDs), most of whom were employed full-time by major colleges fielding the most successful football teams in the country, banded together to form the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA).  This small group and a few dozen more were distinguished from the other 87,000 RDs in the U.S. by working "full-time" with athletes alongside strength coaches and athletic trainers.  They branded their specialized method of feeding athletes "performance nutrition" and set about the business of building their ranks to answer the call when sports nutrition would finally be recognized for the contributions it makes to athletics.

Of the nearly 800 members in the CPSDA today, 156 are Sports RDs working full-time with athletes, which doesn't sound like many.  But Sports RDs were on staff working both sidelines of the past three NCAA football championship games, and can be found on 13 of Sports Illustrated's top 15-ranked college football programs kicking off this weekend.  Six NFL teams now have a full-time Sports RD on staff, with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins adding their performance nutrition specialist earlier this year.  And Special Forces within the U.S. military have heard the call, hiring eight of the CPSDA's most experienced Sports RDs to feed athletes who work not under stadium lights but in shadows, wearing very different types of uniforms.  

CPSDA's nine-member Board of Directors, now led by President Randy Bird from the University of Virginia, studied the 1980s surge of strength coaches and athletic trainers and found that most athletic departments hiring Registered Dietitians for the first time would need to squeeze tight budgets to create the new position.  So the CPSDA ambitiously recruited college students of dietetics.  

"Young Sports RDs can afford to fill newly-created positions as experienced veterans move up to major colleges, professional sports and the military, where salaries have been rising steadily," said the CPSDA's Bird.  "We're dedicating more resources every year to continuing education workshops and seminars for younger RDs to help them hit the ground running."

CPSDA recruited corporate sponsors just as aggressively to underwrite scholarships, internships, knowledge-sharing software programs, and the three tiers of continuing education being offered by the volunteer-driven organization in 2014: an entry-level Sports RD boot camp; an advanced practice workshop; and the CPSDA's annual conference, which drew more than 300 attendees in May.

We can only hope that the Major League Baseball Players Association signaled the death knell of PEDs in sports when players finally turned their backs on substance abusers this summer in favor of a level playing field. The National Football League Players Association seems poised to strengthen those anti-doping efforts, "tentatively agreeing" this month to allow blood samples to be taken randomly from 40 players per week during the upcoming season to test for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).  

Few are happier than Sports RDs to see the scourge of performance-enhancing drugs in decline.  Every last one of them has been fighting a quiet war against PEDs.  Performance nutrition is now in a glide path that should land healthy "high-octane" fueling stations in the dining halls of every college athletic program and professional sports team that wants to give its athletes the best chance to succeed.    

Sports RDs will remain vigilant in their quest to keep PEDs out of athletics.  Meanwhile, veterans of the profession will dedicate more of their time preparing young brethren to fill the anticipated surge of new career opportunities that seem more certain now.  It's about time.

First published August 28, 2013 by John LeGear, Director of CPSDA Operations/Communications, headquartered in Palos Hills, Illinois.   E-mail info@SportsRD.org.                                          


Sports Dietitian Tiffany Byrd Gives Oklahoma a competitive edge

 (click here to view story and video)
Source: Sooner Sports August 8, 2013

One of us:  Randy Bird, UVA's Director of Sports Nutrition

 (Click here to view story)
Source: Crozette Gazette August 3, 2013

America's top Sports RDs honor 8 at annual CPSDA conference

May 20, 2013, St. Louis, MO--All the Registered Dietitians that work full-time in pro or college athletic programs ("Sports RDs") would fit comfortably on a Boeing 727.  And most of them will be landing in St. Louis May 20th for the 5th annual conference of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel.   Click here to download full news release.

October 25, 2012--For years, big-time college athletes have been widely resented on college campuses, perceived by some as pampered and privileged, and maybe even corrupt. Every year seems to bring evidence of athletes taking free cars, being paid under the table, dodging rules. But some observers think the real problem with college athletes is that they are underfed. Yes, underfed.
“The perception, for the general public, is that the day they get to school and get their tennis shoes, they are getting this entry into a world where the horn of plenty is always there for them,” said Dave Ellis, a sports dietitian for 30 years, who has fed teams at Nebraska and Wisconsin.  Click here to download full story. 

CPSDA publishes Position Statement on 'Feeding Athletes'
Octtober 25, 2012, Chicago, IL--Sports registered dietitians working in college and professional sports are asking the NCAA to toss out rules that restrict athletes to only one meal per day and instead permit unlimited interval feedings as needed throughout the day to fully restore athletes and make them ‘whole again.’   
            The Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA), founded in 2009 largely by sports registered dietitians (Sports RDs) working in major college athletic programs, published its first position statement today to encourage the National Collegiate Athletic Association to reform rules that currently allow schools to serve only one meal per day to student-athletes in season.  New feeding protocol for athletes is just one of dozens of reform concepts currently being considered by the NCAA. 
           Efforts to regulate feeding were last updated by the NCAA in 1991, ostensibly to enhance “competitive equity” and to provide what the NCAA said was a free added benefit for athletes on scholarship or receiving financial aid.  Since then financially aided athletes are eligible to be served one meal per day from a training table, which is a planned meal served in a dining hall.  The training table is available to walk-on athletes who do not receive financial aid, but they’re required to pay a prescribed amount for the same meal.  CPSDA recommends today that all college athletes, whether or not they receive financial assistance, be offered unfettered access without restriction to whole foods and, as necessary, dietary supplements, to replace nutrients, fluids and electrolytes expended while preparing for their sport.

Consumer Advocates: Athletic Business mag dials in on CPSDA

Athletic Business magazine's October 2012 issue features stories this month that perfectly capsulate two of the most compelling reasons Sports RDs formed the CPSDA in 2009: deregulating the antiquated rules governing feeding of college athletes; and creating more and better career opportunities for CPSDA members willing to work the longer hours and acquire the specialized knowledge that sports requires.  Athletic Business writer Paul Steinbach knows what drives Sports RDs, and he knows what athletes need to succeed.  Download Steinbach's two CPSDA-related stories here.

College football's top 25 competing for 'food coaches' 

August 17, 2012, Chicago, IL—“Food coaches” are becoming as hard for colleges to find as accurate, strong-armed quarterbacks, but 14 of the nation’s top 25 college football teams in USA Today’s preseason coaches’ poll have hired at least one full-time sports registered dietitian (Sports RD) in recent years to shift the emphasis from feeding athletes to fueling them. Download full story here.

CPSDA survey: laying claim to where food meets the field

May 15, 2012, St. Petersburg, Fla.--The first survey of sports registered dietitians (Sports RDs) and students of dietetics from the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) confirms that while the “science of nutrition” is trending steadily upward, it’s still perceived to take a back seat to strength training and injury prevention, the other two major factors that enable athletes to perform at their best.    

“At least sports nutrition is no longer buried in the trunk under a spare tire,” quipped Melinda Valliant, PhD., RD, CSSD, a leading CPSDA member who earned her doctorate in Exercise Science and directed the survey from her office at The University of Mississippi in Oxford.
  Download full story.   

CPSDA honors 6 with national awards May 18

May 17, 2012, St. Petersburg, Fla.--Six national awards recognizing special achievement in sports nutrition will be presented on the evening of May 18 by the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) to three sports registered dietitians (Sports RDs), two college students, and the Director of Athletics from the University of Missouri during the awards banquet at the 4th Annual CPSDA Conference and Symposium in St. Pete Beach, Fla.  Download full story.


Food & Supplement Security climbing FDA's priority list
by Dave Ellis, CPSDA Past-President 
Those entrusted in the circle of care around athletes—sport coaches, strength coaches, sports medicine personnel and Sports RDs--learn early on how important it is to build a wall of protection around their players.  Insidious agents of exploitation are never far away.  But in an ever expanding food and dietary supplement supply system that now spans the globe, fortifying that wall of protection isn’t enough anymore.  Sports RDs will soon be relied upon to take proactive measures—preemptive security measures—to prevent potentially hazardous events from occurring in the “feed to fuel” continuum.  Download here for full story.

BCS title game features best 2 teams of 2011
(January 7, 2012, Chicago, IL)—While millions of football fans will be watching two of the best college teams ever assembled in the BCS national championship game between the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide on January 9, dozens of major college coaches will be watching what only they and a few others know to be the two best “fueled” teams in history.  Download full story.  


CPSDA "New Year" news brief January 2012 

Start of the new year "News Brief" published by the CPSDA January 2012.
Download CPSDA News Brief

 College Football's Last Frontier: Better Food
Looking for an Edge, Top Programs Are Devoting Strategy, Resources to Nutrition

Sept. 29, 2011--This season, dozens of top college football teams are making the same expensive bet on one aspect of football taht old coaches from the leather helmet days never gave much thought to: sushi rolls, crab legs and hand-blended smoothies.  

As college programs struggle to maintain their dominance in the face of increasing parity, the issue of how much the players eat during the season—and what they're eating—has been elevated from a running joke to a serious matter that includes teams of chefs, dietitians and volunteers, and that's becoming part of the way some teams prepare for games. Download full story. 

Sports Dietitians fueling top college football programs
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Rex Burkhead arrived at Nebraska two years ago like a lot of other college students. He had weaknesses for ice cream and late-night hamburgers.  Download the full story.  

New Breed of athletes seeking edge through food, not drugs
Arizona Republic, May 29, 2011--Most athletes enjoy a special bond with food.  They eat whatever they want and still look good in the mirror.  It's easy to abuse this relationship.  Click here to download full story


CPSDA's Dave Ellis goes 1 on 1 with Athletic Business magazine
When Dave Ellis began studying to be a dietitian at the University of Nebraska in 1982, combining sports and nutrition into a full-time job was a fresh concept. A student assistant strength coach for Tom Osborne’s football team, Ellis saw his role expand substantially after the training table manager put out a bratwurst and Braunschweiger feast on the same day the Huskers were scheduled to run 440s
.  Click here to download full story. 

PSDA's Ellis gets down on supplements in Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports
magazine does a good job of identifying in 1994 federal regulations (DSHEA) taht allow supplements to enter the American marketplace without first proving safety and substantiating claims (unlike in Europe),   Click here to download full story.

CPSDA's Ellis talks nutrition with Training & Conditioning mag

Training and Conditioning magazine asked veteran Sports RD Dave Ellis in October 2010 to reflect on the growth of the field. As then President of CPSDA, Ellis, provided some unique insights that proved largely in the next two years. Download here for the full story.

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