Buckeyes, Ducks receive Beats

Ohio State players received a boost from one of their biggest, and arguably most famous, fans Saturday.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James helped gift each member of the Ohio State team Beats By Dre headphones ahead of Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T against the Oregon Ducks.

James is a Beats By Dre spokesman and partner. Beats By Dre provided the headphones to the players, but James "helped facilitate the connection" between the company and the Buckeyes, an Ohio State spokesperson said.

The gift was not a violation of NCAA rules.

"The headphones were donated to Ohio State and were distributed within permissible NCAA limitations on awards," the spokesperson said.

Beats By Dre also gave Oregon players Beats headphones on Saturday, a member of the team's traveling party told ESPN's Darren Rovell. The Ducks also had received them from the Pac-12 for playing in the conference championship game last month.

Schools are allowed to give their players gifts worth $400 for the national championship game, and the winning team can give an additional $415 in gifts to its players. The value of the Beats By Dre headphones will be deducted from that amount.

The amount deducted is normally the wholesale price of the item, not what it sells for at retail. The headphones given by Beats By Dre to the players cost close to $300 at retail, which would put the gift at a wholesale price of about $175.

Coach Urban Meyer tweeted out thanks to the four-time NBA MVP on Saturday.

It wasn't the first time James, one of his endorsers and Ohio State intersected via social media this month.

After the Buckeyes' 42-35 win over Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day, James posted a photo on his Instagram account of a slick pair of red and silver Nike sneakers complete with the Ohio State logo and graphics that mimic the Buckeye leaf decals the football players wear on their helmets to commemorate their achievements on the field.

James has been a spokesman for Nike during his entire 12-year NBA career, inking a $90 million deal with the sports-apparel giant before he was even drafted into the league.

James has been loyal to the Buckeyes even longer. He grew up in Akron, Ohio, which is about a two-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio, where Ohio State's campus is located.

While everybody knew from the time he was a junior in high school that he would forgo college and go straight to the pros, James has said that had he become a student-athlete, it would have been at Ohio State.

"I promise, I say this all the time -- if I had one year of college, I would have ended up here," the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported James as saying in September 2013 before Ohio State's home game against Wisconsin.

ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, Dave McMenamin and Austin Ward contributed to this report.