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Alabama, Clemson, and LSU Players to Receive Participation Trophies

Everybody deserves a trophy.

By T. Kent Jones

BATON ROUGE--In a move aimed at boosting morale and enthusiasm, the NCAA will be awarding participation trophies to football players from LSU, Alabama, and Clemson, following tough starts to their 2023 season.

After the three programs suffered defeats at the hands of Texas, Duke, and Florida State, the NCAA reportedly doesn’t want early season losses to diminish players’ love of the game.

“Kids attend these schools honestly thinking they’re going to win the National Championship,” said one Clemson assistant. “If that Dr. Pepper trophy goes to Florida State or USC or God help us, Colorado, what are they supposed to do?

The participation trophies are four inches tall, made of gold plastic, and will feature the logos of all three schools along with the words, “You’re A Winner, Too!” or “If He Had Fun, He Won!” with a smiley face.

Every player will also get juice in a box, storytime, and then a nap.

NCAA spokesperson, Sarah Mitchell, explained, “College football is not just about winning; it's about personal development, teamwork, and building character. These athletes dedicate countless hours to their sport, and it's essential to recognize their efforts, even when they face setbacks. Four inches of gold plastic let them know how we really feel about them.”

Psychiatrists argue that participation trophies promote a growth mindset, and lead to greater resilience and a willingness to take on challenges. 

Said psychoanalyst Dr. Pete Boonville, “You’ll never forget the change on a sad 6’5” 275-pound Defensive Lineman’s face when he gets a little treat that says, ‘I See You, Precious Boy. I Appreciate Your Violent Nature.’”

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Others believe such trophies may foster a sense of entitlement or fail to adequately prepare young people for the realities of competition in the adult world. Said one coach who wished to remain anonymous, “They don’t hand out participation trophies in the NFL, I promise you that. OK, maybe in Chicago, but that’s it.”

One Alabama wide receiver agrees saying, “We're here to win championships, not collect participation trophies. Maybe if Coach Saban spent less time with the AFLAC duck...”

An LSU linebacker shared his perspective: “I don’t like it, but I was taught to never turn down juice-in-a-box and a nap.”

Observed one SEC fan, “Besides hundreds of thousands in NIL money, and all the attention in the world, what else do these kids have to play for?”

End of the Bench will have more as this story develops.

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