Win or lose, everybody who participates in the Texas Bowl will head home with a gift bag worth a few hundred bucks. This year, the Gophers and Syracuse Orange will get gift bags containing a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Fossil Watch, belt buckle, t-shirt, backpack and a pin for their participation.
But despite a tablet and some new clothes, it’s nothing compared to the PlayStation 4 that participants in the Military Bowl are receiving or the portable speaker system for playing in the Fight Hunger Bowl. Those gifts sound great, but the item that takes the cake is a powered home theater recliner which is available in 18 of the 35 bowl games. Now a tablet and a new watch don’t sound so great anymore, do they?
Gift bags are nothing new, and the NCAA allows each bowl to gift up to $550 worth of merchandise to 125 participants of each school — so there’s nothing scandalous here. Additionally, participants can also receive up to $400 from the school and conference for postseason play, according to SportsBusiness Daily.
"Schools can, and usually do, buy additional packages that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit."
Which means sideline personnel, student managers and others are also often recipients of these gift bags.
Some other interesting gift items:
- Mercury Luggage Seward Trunk luggage set (Gator Bowl)
- Nike Kevin Durant backpack (AutoZone Liberty Bowl)
- Football — like these players don’t have access to one (Heart of Dallas Bowl and a few others)
- Helen of Troy hair dryer — is Troy Polamalu playing in this game? (Hyundai Sun Bowl)