The Oklahoma Sooners have changed the game when it comes to fueling athletes. With the NCAA now allowing universities to provide unlimited snacks, OU has decided to purchase a food truck, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Sooners athletic director Joe Castiglione told ESPN.com that the vehicle the school is in the process of purchasing will serve as a solution to make sure athletes can get what they want when they want it.
“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.
One of the first things that came to mind when learning of Oklahoma’s plan was how this would affect recruiting. It might be a means to fueling athletes whenever and wherever, but make no mistake, a food truck rolling around campus is going to have a huge impact on potential prospects visiting the university. Castiglione understands just that.
“I realize the idea was to give institutions the flexibility to do what they want within their means,” Castiglione said. “But it’s now so flexible that schools can provide full meals to athletes at any time and there will be some schools that will undoubtedly push that envelope. The next thing people will be doing is a comparative analysis for recruiting as to what schools offer more.”
The food truck will be just one aspect of the $1 million food plan Oklahoma is using to expand menu options for its student-athletes. With this roving cafeteria providing more readily available treats, while also lending more ammo to the recruiting game, it’s safe to assume that Oklahoma has likely kicked off the next big trend for college athletic departments.