It actually does sound like a UConn problem to me, cause there are grants for student-athletes at every school that provide the students with meals from school. Maybe he should be more aware of what's being offered to him.
I don't see student athletes as employees, so I don't believe they should be paid for playing a sport. They get priority registration in classes, get all the best benefits a school can offer, yet most of them skip classes and excuse themselves because of their sport. Yes, I'm generalizing it's just another stereotype, but I don't think they should complain, they've got it easy. Even the ones that don't go pro don't have to worry about student loan debt. Way too many of my friends are in debt $100k-300k+, depending on if they went to graduate school and where. Student athletes are handed their degree usually with zero debt.
Sorry, but I just can't sympathize for student athletes as they have it the easiest out of all college students who don't come from families with money.