The new renovated $19 million Ohio State Buckeyes basketball facility features a guest locker for an athlete that never even took a class at in Columbus.
LeBron James’ no. 6 locker stands out among the current OSU athletes.
James sent out a tweet thanking the university and its athletics staff for the recognition.
SPECIAL S/O AD Gene Smith, Thad Matta, Urban Meyer and the rest of this unbelievable University we… http://t.co/qwBZbP38T1
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 3, 2013
Why did he get a locker? Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta explains.
We always want to pay our respects to him for what he did for us in ’07 in terms of we were the first LeBron school. And obviously we get tremendous product from him, and I know he’s very proud of what he does for us.”
He’s referring to Ohio State athletics being the first school to get endorsed by LeBron’s athletic apparel and shoe line from Nike. Which is, in part, the reason for the locker.
Ohio State wears LeBron Nike gear. Locker used to display uniforms, etc., when recruits visit.
— Doug Lesmerises (@PDBuckeyes) September 3, 2013
It’s all about recruiting. Showcase the name of an athlete that never played in Columbus and give recruits his brand of shoes and warmups.
Many fans, however, have taken to the internet to express their displeasure with this move. Their feelings are somewhat understandable. Considering that James went straight from high school in Akron, Ohio to the NBA, and later [in their eyes] turned his back on his home state when he chose to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010.
OSU locker for LeBron James is a perfect symbol of all that is wrong today in sports and society in general. — Jeff (@CbusJeff) September 3, 2013
The funniest thing about Lebron getting a locker at OSU is that he referred to our school colors as scarlet and red in his Instagram — Cassie Rush (@cass_beth21) September 3, 2013
Lol, why does Lebron have an OSU locker? Agggggghhhhh. — AJ King (@allday_ajking) September 3, 2013
Cheap, bush league move for OSU to give LeBron his own locker at the Schott and hang his name and number up. Guy didn’t even go to college! — Mike Vincent Popelas (@popmvp1) September 4, 2013
The move makes sense from a recruiting perspective, even if it seems a bit underhanded. Use any and every advantage possible to lure top high school athletes to your school.
The future recruiting classes of OSU basketball athletes will be the measure by which we will ultimately know if this has had any actual effect.
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