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Some Conference Tournaments Ax Gifts To The Athletes

During college football bowl season the players get treated to fabulous gifts from the bowl games. This is the only time in their amateur career that student athletes can legally and not the $100 or more handshake.  Well college hoops does the same thing, but not as much.  This year the Pac-10, Big Ten, and MAC have all decided to save the money which can be as much as $3,000 per athlete in the NCAA tournament.

This is a huge cost saving move for the leagues that are in the red in their athletic department:

By eliminating the distribution of these packages for all sports this school year, the MAC expects to save $40,000. The Pac-10 and Big Ten figure to cut at least $300,000 from their annual expenses. Men’s and women’s basketball tournament gift packages typically make up about 75 percent of the major conferences’ annual gift budgets.

No fear if you are a member of a Mountain West team since this league decided it was worth it:

"We discussed it last spring," said Mountain West Conference Associate Commissioner Dan Butterly. "We debated cutting basketball and we talked about cutting all sports, but we decided that the overall cost was worth it."

The league is only buying of 22 of the 25 of their allotment which costs approximately $100,000 which accounts for about one percent of their total budget.

For some nifty charts to see who is getting what keep reading.

Gifts being provided to teams by select college conferences and the NCAA for participation in March tournaments this year.
(No. of packages being distributed)
ACC (600)* Nintendo Wii package, Under Armour backpack
Atlantic 10 (NA) Choose one: iPod dock audio system; Bose earbuds; digital camera; portable DVD player; SwissGear Army backpack. Plus, a jacket and eco-friendly water bottle.
Big 12 (720) Flip UltraHD camcorder
Big East (704) Nintendo Wii package
Conference USA (600) Choose one Sony item: Portable DVD player; micro hi-fi shelf system; multifunction clock radio for iPod/iPhone; 7-inch digital photo frame; noise-canceling earbuds; wireless headphones; 16GB S series Walkman video MP3 player; Cyber-shot digital camera
Mountain West (400) Choose one: Sony 7-inch portable DVD/CD/MP3 player with case; Samsung 10 MP digital camera; Ogio rolling suitcase; iLuv iPod dock audio system with dual alarm clock
SEC (NA) Choose one: Garmin Nuvi GPS, Sony digital camera, Apple iPod Touch 8GB, Flip MinoHD camcorder, Wenger two-tone watch
NCAA (NA) Bench chair, Jostens ring, Fossil watch, backpack, Wilson mini-basketball and commemorative ticket. Final Four participants also will receive a piece of the playing court.
* Gifts are paid for by the tournament host committees rather than the conference.
NA: Not available
Sources: NCAA, conferences


NCAA Division I basketball players can receive gifts totaling up to $3,380 from their schools, conferences and the NCAA.
Participation awards
Type of award Maximum value Maximum possible total
Playing in regular season (from the school) $175 to underclassmen/$325 to seniors $175 (underclassmen) / $325 (seniors)
Conference tournament $325 from school, $325 from conference $650
NCAA tournament $325 from school, no limit from the NCAA $925*
• TOTAL   $1,750 / $1,900
Championship awards
Conference regular season $325 from school, $325 from conference $650**
Conference tournament $325 from school, $325 from conference $650**
NCAA tournament $415 from school, $415 from conference $830
• TOTAL   $1,480
GRAND TOTAL   $3,230 / $3,380
* According to the NCAA, this year’s participant gift package has an estimated value of approximately $600.
** The combined value of both awards shall not exceed $650 if the same institution wins conference regular-season and postseason championships.
Source: NCAA