WKU paid $130,000 to Shaquille O’Neal for DJ performance


Cole Carroll

Shaquille O’Neal, aka “DJ Diesel”, plays music at his pregame concert on South Lawn Friday, Oct 21, 2022.

Jake Moore, Co-editor-in-chief

Western Kentucky University paid NBA Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal, also known by his stage name “DJ Diesel,” $130,000 for his pregame concert on South Lawn on Oct. 21.

According to records obtained by the Herald, WKU paid the amount to Mine O Mine Holdings Inc, a company owned by O’Neal.

“The concert was paid for as a partnership between Athletics and Enrollment and Student Experience,” Jace Lux, university spokesperson, said via email. “Several years ago, both groups set aside funds to host a celebratory event once campus operations returned to normal.”

In addition to the payment to O’Neal, the performance contract states that the “PURCHASER”, noted as WKU, was to provide DJ, monitor and special effects equipment “at no cost to the ARTIST.” Some of the items required included three Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 CD players and two confetti cannons.

The performance contract states that the the purchaser was to provide “all required hotel room accommodations at a five (5) star luxury ARTIST approved hotel.”

The contract states that O’Neal’s stage had to have clearance of at least 96 inches, because “Shaquille is very tall!!”

The hospitality section of O’Neal’s personal appearance contract has been fully redacted. The Herald reached out to Lindsey Carter, assistant general counsel who provided the records, regarding the redacted page.

Carter wrote via email that the information is “considered proprietary and is redacted pursuant to KRS 61.878(1)(c).”

KRS 61.878(1)(c) states that records “generally recognized as confidential or proprietary, which if openly disclosed would permit an unfair commercial advantage to competitors of the entity that disclosed the records,” are exempt from open records requests.

The full agreement can be read here.

O’Neal has moonlighted as a DJ since 2015, playing the festival circuit and starting his own “Shaq’s Fun House” festival. O’Neal appeared on South Lawn after an hour delay and treated attendees to dance remixes of classic rock songs and modern hits.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Jake Moore can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Charles_JMoore.