Football players receive gifts for bowl game appearance
Each CU football player will leave Shreveport, La. with up to $850 worth of gifts for his participation in the Independence Bowl.
“We’re getting a Sony home entertainment system with a six disk CD and DVD player,” said Lagrone Shields, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman. “We’ll get an Independence Bowl commemorative hat and watch too.”
All members of the team, including starters, nonstarters and redshirt freshmen will receive the gift package.
The sponsor of the game gives $500 worth of the merchandise to the players.
Gift packages from past bowl games have included items such as Play Stations, iPods, flat screen TVs, camcorders, mountain bikes and George Foreman grills.
Each bowl sponsor gives participating teams a particular type of commemorative gift. Apparently, the popularity of the gift depends on where the game is played.
“What we’re getting is definitely better than the belt buckle and cowboy hat we’d get if we were going to the Houston Bowl,” said senior cornerback Terrence Wheatley.
The 2007 Independence Bowl is sponsored by PetroSun, a well known energy company specializing in fossil fuels and renewable energy. PetroSun currently drills oil in six Midwestern states.
Sponsoring a bowl game gives companies and corporations national presence and exposure, but it does come at a price.
The sponsor is required to give a large payout to the winning school of each game. Oklahoma State received $2.2 million for its win over Alabama in the 2006 Independence Bowl.
Such awards and benefits are allowable under NCAA Bylaw 16- Awards, Benefits, and Expenses for Enrolled Student-Athletes.
Awards approved by Bylaw 16 include those for participation, winning championships, and special achievement awards.
The CU athletic staff regulates such gifts and benefits to ensure that there are no NCAA violations within the program.
“The NCAA is very liberal when it comes to student-athlete welfare,” said Jo Marchi, CU Athletic Department Compliance Monitoring Coordinator. “Players are allowed to receive rewards with up to a $350 value from the institution and up to a $500 value from the management of the bowl game.”
Marchi said that the awards given to football players by CU come from the Athletic Department’s football budget.
Bylaw 16 also benefits the family and friends of student-athletes because each player receives six complimentary tickets to bowl games.
The institution also provides the cost of transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment for the spouse and children of an eligible student-athlete to a postseason football game or an NCAA football championship.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sarah Ruybalid at email@example.com