Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud presents $500 gift cards to each football player for game day suits

The quarterback wants the Buckeyes to dress sharply on game day.

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Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud paid it forward recently when he gifted each of his teammates a $500 gift card to buy “fly” new suits for the 2022 season, KIRO 7 reports. 

“I just wanted to do something for the team, so I got everybody $500 gift cards to go to Express and get y’all own suits, man,” Stroud told his teammates in a video posted on Sept. 1. “Make sure y’all really get some suits, look fly. Make sure we all look good as a team.”

Ohio State is gearing up to open its season at the Horseshoe against Notre Dame on Sept. 3 and Stroud wants the Buckeyes to dress sharply on game day.

87th Heisman Trophy Media Availability
“I just wanted to do something for the team,” quarterback C.J. Stroud said of the gift cards he gave to his Ohio State teammates. The Heisman Trophy finalist will be one of six team captains for 2022. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

The quarterback led Ohio State to an 11-2 record in 2021, including a Rose Bowl victory against Utah, according to Sports-Reference.com. He completed 71.9% of his passes for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, and six interceptions, CBS Sports reported. WBNS reported that the Buckeyes selected Stroud as one of six team captains for 2022.

Through The Foundation, a nonprofit that launched in March, Stroud and several other star Ohio State football players will be compensated a total of $550,000 in a “joint name, image and likeness deal.” So far, The Columbus Dispatch has reported, it is the largest deal that the nonprofit, third-party collective that supports Ohio State has brokered.

During a post-practice interview last month Stroud said both players and coaches should benefit from the Big Ten’s $7 billion broadcast contract.

“I definitely think it should be shared, but if not, at the end of the day, we have the NIL space,” Stroud said, referring to the local agency that negotiated the deal on behalf of the players with Express and other companies, according to The Dispatch.

“It would definitely mean a lot not only to the players, but to the coaches and the whole — even the school would appreciate just giving us maybe a little something, you know what I mean? Just because, I mean we put in so much work,” he said, The Spun reported. 

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith believes the players get enough, noting all the ways that student-athletes already benefit from the money pulled in annually by the televised conference.

“Frankly, they’re already getting a piece of the television revenue,” Smith said, according to The Spun, pointing out that the athletes “already get a piece” of the TV revenue brought in by the Big Ten via their access to “trainers, strength coaches, sports psychologists, nutritionists, academic counselors,” as the massive profits helps “fund those positions.” 

Continued Smith, “That’s how we fund this building. That’s how we fund this new field. That’s how we fund a new field in the stadium. That’s how we fund security that we’ll need for 103,000 people in our stadium and maybe 30,000 outside for the tailgating. So they actually already get a piece. It might not be directly in their pocket, but it’s an investment in them.”

A co-founder of The Foundation told The Dispatch that he believes the deal — which includes working with charities — for Stroud and his teammates also may be the biggest for any Ohio State athletes since last summer when they were first permitted to benefit financially from their “fame and celebrity.”

Ny Magee contributed to this article.

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