Many people are aware of the gifts that college football players receive for playing in bowl games. You may not be aware that college basketball players also receive gifts for participating in March Madness. Sports Business Daily brings us a list of the gifts that players will get both from their conference as well as the NCAA, should their team make the tournament.
The NCAA will give each player on a tournament team a Fossil watch, and Final Four participants will also get a ring, a bench chair, a souvenir ball, and probably most cool, a Lucite encased replica game ticket as well as a piece of the court
Players in the ACC, Big XII, and SEC tournaments get a nice selection of gifts to choose from: Beats by Dre headphones, Kindle Fire or Samsung Galaxy tablets, sunglasses, and even 32" LCD televison sets. Pac-12 players will get Beats by Dre earbuds and a $100 Beats music gift card.
Big Ten players? A jacket and a backpack.
It's not the worst set of gifts out there. Sun Belt conference players will get a duffel bag, while Summit League players get a hoodie. But many smaller, less prestigious, less B1G conferences do better than the Big Ten. The Mountain West has arranged for an online suite of gifts, where players can choose between Beats by Dre and Bose headphones as well as a Garmin activity monitor and a bluetooth keyboard. The Big East touts a catalog that features tablets, headphones, and even remote controlled helicopters.
OK, it's better than the Missouri Valley's commemorative basketball or the Atlantic Sun's fleece blanket.
But seriously, with a television contract like the Big Ten has, where CBS will show the semifinals and finals nationally, that's the best the Big Ten can do? A jacket and a backpack?