Athletes get gifts worth thousands from bowl games, conference championships


(WCMH) — After Lebron James gave the entire Ohio State football team a pair of Beats headphones, many have been asking whether it is an NCAA rules violation on social media.

Student-athletes who participate in bowl games and other postseason games and championships can receive gifts worth a combined thousands of dollars and still stay within the rules.

According to the NCAA Division I manual, players participating in a bowl game can receive up to $550 in gifts from the bowl game management. This year, players participating in the Fiesta Bowl received a Playstation PS4 gift package, a Fossil watch, an Ogio Shuttle Pack backpack, a “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book and an Ice Shaker insulated bottle, Sports Business Daily reported.

In addition to the gifts from the bowl game itself, the school can provide gifts worth up to $400 to student-athletes.

If a team moves on to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the school and the game management can give players another $550 and $400 worth of gifts, respectively.

According to the university, the gift of the headphones counted toward the Big Ten Championship participation award of $375.

There are many other opportunities for players to receive gifts and still stay within NCAA rules:

  • $415 from both the school and conference for winning a national championship
  • $325 from both the school and conference for winning a conference championship
  • $375 from the school and conference for participating in a conference championship game
  • $175 from the school for special attainments or contribution to team’s season (e.g., scholar-athlete, most improved player, most minutes played, most valuable player)
  • $325 from recognized organizations that select a player as a ‘most valuable player’
  • $350 from game management for the MVP of a bowl game or all-star contest
  • $325 from the management of established national award programs (e.g., Wade Trophy, Heisman Trophy)

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