Sure, college football players want to play in a bowl game as a reward for their successful season. They also, in some cases, want to play in them for a chance at a national championship, another win in the win column, and various other reasons.
But you wouldn't fault them for also being excited about the gifts they receive as well for being a part of a bowl game.
As a part of bowl games each season, college football players are given gifts by the title sponsor of the bowl game they play in. But how is that not illegal in the eyes of the NCAA?! Sports Business Journal tells us:
The NCAA allows each bowl to award up to $550 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school. Schools can, and almost always do, buy additional packages that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit. In addition, participants can receive awards worth up to $400 from the school and up to $400 from the conference for postseason play, covering both conference title games and any bowl game.
Gifts can range from watches to iPads to gift cards, and all peculiar places in between. Earlier in the week, Sports Business Journal released its seventh annual review of each bowl games gifts, with all 35 games included.
Curious as to what State and Northwestern players will be receiving? Here you go:
Tues., Jan. 1, noon (ESPN2), Jacksonville
Fossil watch, Dome hat, Mercury garment bag and carry-on bag, Jostens ring, football
I had to Google what a "Dome hat" was. Apparently that is a brand, much like New Era. Also at that link above, it appears that the fossil watch, which is one of the gifts included for State, is the most common gift amongst all the games, as 19 of the 35 bowl gift packages feature one. The garment bag is always nice - well, it is for those of us who are old men - and the Jostens ring I guess would be cool too? I really hope it is a ring with TaxSlayer.com written on it, or the Gator's face, or Dale Jr.'s face.
After looking at the full list, kind of feel like State and NW players are getting gipped compared to what other bowls are offering. Military bowl participants are getting an iPad mini as a part of their package, and Meineke Car Care Bowl participants get the fossil watch along with a 32" flat screen tv. I'm serious. The list varies greatly from bowl to bowl. Definitely interesting and worth checking out.