Ohio's most famous athlete is doing all he can to support the state's beloved school ahead of Monday night's matchup with the Oregon Ducks.
When Ohio State players returned to their hotel rooms Saturday at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, they found boxes of Beats headphones waiting for them. The man behind these $300 gifts? Akron's very own, LeBron James.
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) January 10, 2015
— Stephen Collier (@S13Collier) January 10, 2015
— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) January 10, 2015
As Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com notes, it took some clever maneuvering for the gifts to be acceptable under the NCAA's strict policies.
"LeBron helped facilitate the connection with Beats by Dre," an Ohio State spokesperson told Cleveland.com. "The headphones were donated to Ohio State and were distributed within the permissible NCAA limitations on awards."
Interestingly, it appears the Oregon players received headphones as well:
It was nice that Ohio State thanked LeBron for their Beats, but the company gave the headphones to Oregon too.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 11, 2015
James has strong ties to both schools. He lives and works in Ohio and has made clear that if he had gone to college, he likely would have chosen Ohio State. He is also one of Nike's most valuable endorsers, and as such he frequents the company's headquarters in Eugene, Ore.
On Monday, James posted this photo of himself and Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott:
James has endorsed Beats since 2008, when he signed an equity deal with the company. When Apple in 2014 bought Beats for $3 billion, James received a reported $30 million.