Urban Meyer said he sent LeBron James a text on Friday after the basketball superstar announced he was returning to Cleveland.

"He's got an open door," the Ohio State football coach told cleveland.com in a phone interview. "If he wants to catch a pass, we can probably figure that out, too."

That door in Columbus has always been open.

Even when it wasn't popular, when many fans had turned on James after his departure from Cleveland four years ago, Ohio State remained a lifeline connecting James to his roots. He had his family and his friends and his Akron home and his alma mater at St. Vincent-St. Mary, but if there was one thing James still shared with the average Ohio sports fan after breaking so many of their hearts, it was that he rooted for the Buckeyes.

He remained loyal, and the Buckeyes did the same, even if some fans sent letters to the sports programs complaining about their association with James.