LeBron James may be right at home with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Ohio native never forgets his roots. In preparation for Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl, the King gifted the entire Ohio State football team a brand new pair of Beats by Dre headphones. The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the undefeated Clemson Tigers for a trip to the College Football Playoff championship game.
James, who is an avid Ohio State fan himself, even included a motivational message with each gift.
The note reads: “Best of luck, men! You guys are here for a reason so just enjoy the moment and make the most of it! Don’t settle for anything less than greatness. O-H…#GoBucks!”
James, who is an ambassador for the brand, became an original investor in the company when rapper Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine founded it 2006. When Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion in 2014, the father of three received a healthy portion of the profits as well.
James’ Gift Does Not Violate NCAA Protocol
With how much the NCAA has penalized players for accepting gifts, James’ gift surprisingly did not violate any of their rules. Per Business Insider, the three-time NBA champion spearheaded a relationship between the headphones company and Ohio State, with Beats donating the product to the school shortly after. From there, it’s the university’s decision to distribute the headphones to players participating in bowl games.
“The headphones were donated to Ohio State and were distributed within permissible NCAA limitations on awards,” a representative for the Big 10 college said.
According to ESPN, universities are permitted to give athletes presents worth up to $400 for the national championship game, with the winning team allowed to distribute an additional $415 in presents to their athletes. The Beats James gave the Buckeyes are worth $350, and that amount will be deducted from the aforementioned values.
The King’s History of Generosity
This is not the first time James has presented Ohio State with a gift ahead of a contentious match. Ahead of their game against Nebraska in October 2018, the Scarlet and Gray donned custom black Soldier XII cleats to match their all-back uniforms, which were gifted by James.
The cleats were the same worn by the team all season, just in a different colorway. Should the Buckeyes prevail over the Tigers Saturday, the players will have something to blast their perfectly curated playlists from.