Santa will make two stops at the homes of Avalon graduates Rachid Ibrahim and Jacquille Veii. After enjoying Christmas day at their homes, the two Avalon graduates will travel to different cities to play in bowl games for their respective colleges. Along with the excitement of playing in the games, the two Avalon graduates will also receive a number of gifts.
The two Avalon graduates led Avalon to three conference championships and then received scholarships to play at two DI schools. Ibrahim, who plays for the University of Pittsburg, will travel to Detroit to play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26. Veii, who plays for the University of Maryland, will play in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
This has a few Avalon students wondering why they can get gifts but not get paid for playing.
Pittsburgh was very close to not making a bowl game this season after losing to Navy in a game that it seemed like it should have been a win against Navy. Pittsburgh was able to rebound and save their season. “It’s been an up and down season but we just had to keep fighting each and every week; it doesn’t matter what anyone else says,” said Ibrahim. Pittsburgh will be playing Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. “Championships were big at Avalon; it was for first place, ya know. This is more like another opportunity to play and have fun,” said Ibrahim. Pittsburgh team members will be getting a luggage set, a jump suit and smoke shoes for playing in their bowl game.
Maryland will be playing in the Military bowl on Dec. 27 at 2:30 p.m., at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. Maryland finish its season 7-5 and will be playing against Conference USA East Division champion Marshall, who finished the season at 9-4. “The anticipation for a bowl game is just another level in itself so much comes with the experience of bowl week. The gifts, the places you go, everything is much different,” said Veii. Maryland players will be getting brand new Sony Playstation’s 4, worth around $500. “I was really excited to get a free Playstation 4,” said Veii while laughing. “Free PS4 probably will go down as one of the best bowl gifts at least for me, I’ve got three more tries at bowl games and a natty so we’ll see.”
Other bowl game gifts around the world of college football are watches, recliners for gift suites, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and other stuff like backpacks, clothes and gift cards. The NCAA allows $550 in gifts for 125 people from each school. Not all people, however, think that the gifts are like another way of getting paid; some think it is a commendation.
“ You know I don’t think it’s so much gifts for playing, I think it’s just a commendation for being on the team and it’s not so much like a reward that they play for to get a PS4,” said Avalon Senior Cody Schwartz. “I think it’s just a generous gift, it’s the giving season, you know what I mean.”
Although Avalon students wonder why college players who go to bowl games don’t get paid, a majority still think they shouldn’t get paid. In an informal survey of 20 kids, only 10.5 percent of kids said that college football players should be paid, 26.3 percent say that they shouldn’t get paid but should be allowed to have sponsors, like Under Amour and Nike. Another 5 percent of kids said it depends on how good the players are if they get paid or not, and then 57.8 percent thought that they should not get paid.
Clearly kids at Avalon don’t think college football players should get paid to play a game. “No, not at all, I think it’s all love and passion for the game; you shouldn’t have to get paid for something that you love to do,” said Schwartz.
Additionally, other students said since college players are on scholarships go to school for free, they shouldn’t get paid. That is basically getting paid, they said. They are out there to represent their school; it isn’t like the N.F.L.