Christmas is about to come early for members of the WSU football team. While the NCAA limits has previously restricted schools from providing players cream cheese for bagels, the handcuffs are loosened when it comes to bowl games.
The bowls themselves put together gift packages for players, with the NCAA allowing the players to receive gift packages worth up to $550. With the bowls buying in bulk, they get a lot of items at a discount so players walk away with some decent packages. Here's a look at what the Cougars will receive from the New Mexico Bowl. Via Sports Business Daily:
New Mexico Bowl gift package
- Gift suite
- Portable mobile device charger
- 8 GB USB drive
- Oakley Breadbox sunglasses
- A hat
- Oakley Fine Knit beanie
- Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack
- Gildan stadium blanket
I hope everyone likes Oakley products. You are probably wondering what a gift suite is. Well, essentially it's everything a broke college student could dream of. The bowl will make a series of items available, each with a point value. Each player will receive five points and can use them to select whatever items they want. So what's included? Via Coloradoan.com:
Gift suite items
- 23-inch Toshiba 1080P LED TV
- Blu-ray player
- Skullcandy headphones
- Fossil watches
- iPhone cases
- Bluetooth sound system
That won't be the only thing the players receive. The NCAA allows schools and conferences to buy additional gifts. Players can receive $400 worth of bowl gifts from both WSU and the Pac-12. All told they can walk away with over $1,300 worth of gifts. A nice reward for months of hard work.
The NCAA limits the gifts from bowls to 125 participants, but the school can buy additional packages. Players, staff, VIPs and even cheerleaders will be among those receiving the gift packages. If you'd like to get an inside look at gift suites and the general behind the scenes of bowl prep, Stanford produced a cool video a couple years ago.
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Dec. 21: Cougars to contend in Gildan New Mexico Bowl | WSU News Washington State University
The Washington State University Cougars have accepted an invitation to play in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPN and will be the first of 35 bowl games during the next month.
Cougars will face Colorado St. in New Mexico Bowl - Spokesman.com - Dec. 9, 2013
It’s been a decade-long wait for the Washington State football team to return to a bowl game, and nothing was certain until athletic director Bill Moos had the invite in hand
Record nine Pac-12 schools go bowling - Spokesman.com - Dec. 10, 2013
The Pac-12 Conference is sending a record nine football teams to play in bowl games to cap the 2013 season, with only Cal and relative conference newcomers Utah and Colorado failing to get eligible.
A good bowl selection day for the Pac-12, or was it? - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Dec. 9, 2013
As you can see, by losing the Sugar Bowl the conference lost far more than it gained by virtue of having nine teams invited to bowls. In fact, if Stanford and Oregon had been the only two conference teams selected to play in bowl games, the Pac-12 would still have made $5.05 million more than it did with nine teams and one BCS berth.
@WSUCougars safety @deonebucannon20 has accepted an invitation to the 2014 Reese's Senior Bowl.— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) December 9, 2013
Paul Bryant DB Patrick Porter names top 3, closing in on commitment | AL.com
Of his 15 total offers, the 6-foot, 175-pounder says Washington State, Miami and Minnesota are his top three. The possibility of early playing time is a big reason why the Cougars are at the top of his list.