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Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh goody: KU to get bowl gifts

December 19, 2007

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College athletes generally aren't allowed to accept gifts just for being good at sports. That's one of the NCAA's ultimate no-nos.

So when it's permitted on one of those rare occasions, it's a pretty big deal to any young, broke student-athlete.

Kansas University's football team, like every bowl-bound squad, is receiving an impressive goody bag this week for participating in the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech.

NCAA rules prohibit bowl-game gift packages from totaling more than $500 per player. But the more prestigious the bowl, the more likely it comes dangerously close to that ceiling.

The Orange Bowl is no exception. The big perk that comes with the trip to Miami is a new Sony BRAVIA stereo system, which each Kansas and Virginia Tech player will receive.

That takes up much of the $500 allowance, but there's still room for each Jayhawk and Hokie to receive:

¢ A framed team photograph.

¢ An Orange Bowl watch.

¢ An Orange Bowl blanket.

¢ An Orange Bowl hat.

¢ A garment bag.

Do the math. Assuming around 100 gift packages are handed out to each school, that's $100,000 just in player gifts alone.

Per bowl.

In addition, each bowl-bound school is permitted to give a gift valued up to $325 to each student-athlete. This likely would be the budget for an Orange Bowl ring for each KU player.

¢ Going smoothly: The Anderson Family Football Complex and two practice fields continue to progress south of Memorial Stadium.

"On schedule, on budget," associate athletic director Sean Lester said at last week's Kansas Athletics, Inc., board meeting.

The winter weather will make construction a little more sporadic than in the warmer months. But KU still is targeting July 1, 2008, as the move-in date for the $31 million facility, which will become the centralized headquarters for KU football.

¢ KU no more: One-time commitment Jamaal Johnson, a wide receiver out of Houston, is not coming to KU anymore and likely will enroll at a junior college.

Rivals.com reports that academics probably will prevent Johnson from going to a four-year school right away.

Kansas currently has 15 known commitments for the 2008 class, but just one is a wide receiver: Mesquite, Texas standout Daymond Patterson, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound athlete who could also project as a return specialist.

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