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The Land of the Free Stuff
December 27, 2004
The NCAA lets bowls give swag worth up to $350. What the players get--and how they like it
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December 27, 2004

The Land Of The Free Stuff

The NCAA lets bowls give swag worth up to $350. What the players get--and how they like it

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SUN BOWL, Dec. 31
Purdue vs. Arizona State ? El Paso
Haul: Silvertone analog watch, Armor Gear backpack, Sahara black cotton mock turtleneck, Sahara short sleeve shirt, two baseball caps, Vitalis hair dryer, commemorative coin, commemorative keychain, disposable camera

"How exciting do the gifts sound? Want my hair dryer?" asks Purdue's senior QB Kyle Orton (left). "I just like getting the rings Purdue gives us. I give those to my dad, who keeps them stored away. I was hoping for an iPod, but the better the bowl, the better the gifts." Ouch. SI PLAYERS RATING: [1 gift]

OUTBACK BOWL, Jan. 1
Wisconsin vs. Georgia ? Tampa
Haul: Gold ring with blue stone and fake diamonds, silver Nautica watch, football with team logos, baseball cap, GPX CD player

"We always get watches, so it's nice to finally get a ring," says Wisconsin defensive back Scott Starks (right), who received wrist candy at the 2003 Music City Bowl and 2002 Alamo Bowl. "It's not really free stuff because we work hard to get there, but it's a nice little pat on a back. We're getting stuff we need, but I'll probably give these things to my parents and family as Christmas gifts--that way I won't have to spend any money." SI PLAYERS RATING: [2 gifts]

ORANGE BOWL, Jan. 4
USC vs. Oklahoma ? Miami
Haul: Sony digital camera/recorder, Fossil watch and wallet, Nike small rolling duffel bag, commemorative mini helmet, Orange Bowl hat, team picture plaque

"I asked my family for a wallet for Christmas--I guess I should tell them not to get it for me anymore," says USC senior guard Travis Watkins, who regularly uses the watch and backpack he got at last year's Rose Bowl. "This stuff is not going to collect dust around me. I'll definitely use the camera--all I have is a 35-millimeter at home." SI PLAYERS RATING: [3 gifts]

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