Colorado players getting iPods as Champs Bowl reward
BOULDER – 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. “They always get the kids some nice gifts for bowl games,” Colorado spokesman Dave Plati said. The money comes from the athletic department’s bowl budget, he said. Other bowl-bound Big 12 teams give their players warm-up suits, rings, watches or electronic equipment, conference spokesman Bob Burda said.The state audit faulted the Colorado athletics department over paperwork, a lack of spending oversight and a failure to check the criminal backgrounds of staff working with young athletes at summer football camps.Auditors also said the records of the football camps, run by former coach Gary Barnett, were in such a mess they couldn’t be sure whether more than $400,000 worth of transactions broke any rules.Barnett had resigned under pressure days earlier, after weathering a recruiting scandal but ending the regular season with three lopsided losses.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, spokeswoman Jennifer Dimas said. They include shirts, travel bags, leather jackets and jerseys.
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