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Illinois Will Give Out Lovie Smith Replica Beards to Students

As Illinois states, "During the offseason, the legend of the Lovie beard has grown larger than life."

In a new way to get Illinois students to attend football games, the school will be passing out 5,000 Lovie Smith replica beards at the team's season opener against Kent State on Saturday. 

As Illinois announced, "During the offseason, the legend of the Lovie beard has grown larger than life," and this is naturally the next step. 

Yep, you too can rock a full salt-and-pepper mane in the late summer heat and appear as a Big Ten football coach. Best part is, it will recycle as great costume material come Halloween weekend.

Smith broke out the beard in January to the shock of everyone in the Illini-universe.

The beard made its national debut when he brought it back at Big Ten media days this summer.

Illinois went 2–10 last season. The program has won just five games in Smith's two years at the helm.