Its no secret that college football players often get special treatment. Many colleges treat their star players like royalty, allowing them to miss class occasionally (some schools are more lenient about this policy than others!) to prep for upcoming games, and even the opportunity to register before their peers for next semester’s classes. Fans clamor to get their autographs, take pictures with them, and just shake their hands. Yes, their athletic abilities are admirable, but is this extent of recognition truly warranted?
In my humble opinion, absolutely. These young men have worked hard to reach their goals, many times battling to overcome injuries, balancing their studies and football commitments, and dedicating countless hours, days, and months to learning plays and honing their athletic prowess. Their payment comes in the form of scholarship money and respect from their fans, but unlike professional athletes, there is no true monetary compensation for college athletes’ hard work. They do not get summer or winter holidays off like most college students, and rigorous practice schedules force them to spend much of their time away from their friends and families.
For college football teams that extend their seasons because of coveted invitations to bowl games, there are some additional perks involved. I just learned that the NCAA allows college bowls to give each player up to $500 worth of gifts at the site of the bowl. The bowls can either offer players the gifts or allow them to select their own gifts through a shopping spree or gift suite. According to an article by David Fox on rivals.com, at least half of the 34 bowls this year are opting to present players with shopping sprees, hosting a gift suite or letting players choose gift items from a catalog. Here are just a few of the awesome gifts that college bowl football players will be presented with this year:
Poinsettia (Utah vs. California, Dec. 23, San Diego):
Flo TV personal television and one year of service
Best Buy gift card
Sports Tek hoodie
Meineke Car Care (Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina, Dec. 26, Charlotte, N.C.):
Option of Bose Quiet Comfort headphones set or Bose Sound Dock or iPod Touch, iLive speakers and $20 gift card
OGIO duffle bag
Rose (Oregon vs. Ohio State, Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.):
19-inch Sharp television combo
For a list of even more bowl game giveaways, check out the article by David Fox at rivals.com, and rest assured that even if your favorite team is defeated in a bowl game this season, the players will not be going home empty-handed. Promotional electronics, apparel, and jewelry awaiting them in their hotel rooms should help to soften the blow of a demoralizing loss.
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