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Could LeBron and J.R. Become Buckeyes? 


J.R. Smith posed the question in a video at the Ohio State-Michigan football game if he and LeBron were still eligible to play college football.

Neither of the two played college basketball so you would think there might be a loophole as to how they could still be eligible for college sports, and in fact there is.Now before we get into how any of this could hypothetically work let’s first get it straight that we all know this wouldn’t actually happen. 
Even though LeBron said in the video that he’s trying to play a snap for the Buckeyes “straight up”, that’s about all that would happen. Maybe in the future if a loophole was worked out he could play a single snap as a special tribute type of thing. I mean who wouldn’t want to see him hop in a play at the end of a meaningless blowout game and have the defense let him get a touchdown. 
But aside from the fantasizing, let’s take a look at the roadblocks to this happening. 
First, LeBron and J.R. are no amateurs, which is what you’re supposed to be as a college athlete. Although it’s not their NBA salaries that are the problem, it’s their endorsement deals with Nike, especially LeBron’s. 
Very rarely has it happened but indeed has occurred that a college athlete has been an endorsed professional in another sport prior to beginning their collegiate career. 
The reason LeBron and J.R. would be much more likely to be cleared to play football in college as opposed to basketball is because their endorsement is a result of their performance and influence in the game that sport. 
The case that would have to be made would have to be that their endorsement deals gave influence in their prior sports realm, basketball, and not their current sport of football. 
Maybe J.R. could get away with that excuse since he does not have a signature shoe with the brand, unlike his teammate. And with the Buckeyes recently wearing LeBron’s latest “Soldier” model in a football cleat form, I’d say he now has had his influence in both sports. 
But who knows, he might be able to get a pass simply because he is who he is. I mean, does it really sound like the NCAA to hold a strict rules interpretation and blow an opportunity to make money off of LeBron Ohio State jerseys? Heck no. If there’s money to be made and fans to entertain, anything is possible.