Bowl gifts may raise eyebrows in Colorado

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

BOULDER, Colo. -- A week after a state audit criticized spending on sports, Colorado has outlined plans to spend about $36,000 on iPods to reward its football players for making it to the Champs Sports Bowl.

The university filed a request for bids Monday for 103 of the hand-held music players for up to $350 each.

Universities traditionally buy gifts for players after a successful season. Previously, Colorado players have been given portable CD players, electronic organizers, DVD players and Walkmans.

Other bowl-bound Big 12 teams give their players warm-up suits, rings, watches or electronic equipment, conference spokesman Bob Burda said.

NCAA rules allow schools to give players up to $350 each in gifts, spokeswoman Jennifer Kearns said. Bowl sponsors are allowed to give players gifts worth up to $500, she said.

Colorado State, a Mountain West Conference school, will spend $290 each on gifts for 116 football players in Thursday's Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

Recruit changes mind

Josh Freeman, a 6-foot-6 high school quarterback from the Kansas City suburb of Grandview, who had planned on attending Nebraska, says he's decided on Kansas State instead.

Freeman completed 151 of 286 passes for 2,622 yards and 33 touchdowns in his senior year at Grandview High School.

He had made an oral commitment to Nebraska in June, but had accepted visits from coaches at Kansas State and Missouri in recent weeks.

-- From wire reports

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