Not just a plain summer at Auburn

Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 10:13 p.m.

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It's all about big money these days on the plains of Auburn, Ala.

A story emerged Monday on popular blog detailing tens of thousands of dollars paid by Auburn University to student hostesses assigned to recruit players to the school. This, however, is not an NCAA violation as the hostesses are employed by the university, which is a common practice around the nation.

Auburn is also spending some coin to place billboards in Montgomery, Ala., Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta. The billboards are thinly veiled recruiting messages that are clearly meant to show off the Tigers' crystal trophy to the fans of their chief rivals.

And then there's the bling.

Last weekend, players began receiving their championship hardware for an undefeated 2010 season. The photo above was tweeted by Tigers wide receiver Emory Blake, and it shows three championship rings. As a token of extra appreciation, the team decided to issue a separate ring for the NCAA title to go along with the BCS National Championship ring that is gift from the BCS, in addition to the SEC Championship ring. No telling why one of them has an image of the NFL's Lombardi Trophy.

Still, that's a lot of swag for one hand.

The two rings Auburn paid for came in under the NCAA's limit of a total value of $1,055.

According to NCAA bylaw ...

"Awards for winning an individual or team conference or national championship may be presented each year, limited in value and number. ... Awards for winning a conference or national championship in a team sport may be provided only to student-athletes who were eligible to participate in the championship event. The total value of any single award received for a national championship may not exceed $415. The total value of any single award received for a conference championship may not exceed $325, and each permissible awarding agency is subject to a separate $325 limit per award. Each permissible awarding agency may provide only a single award for each championship to each student-athlete. Separate awards may be presented to both the regular-season conference champion and the postseason conference champion (with a separate $325 limitation), but if the same institution wins both the regular-season and postseason conference championship, the combined value of both awards shall not exceed $325."

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