Men's basketball NIL deal

The Razorback men’s basketball team huddles during a summer practice. The players signed a joint NIL deal Monday with the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County.

Every member of the Razorback men’s basketball team signed a joint name, image and likeness deal with a local nonprofit Monday, finalizing the first deal of its kind in program history.

Athlete Advocate Consortium founders Bryan and Mandy Hunt announced the AAC helped the Hogs team up with the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County, a nonprofit founded in 1997. The deal is the university’s second team sport deal. The first deal was when the Razorback softball team struck NIL deals with Everett Buick and Wright’s Barbecue last spring. 

“The Children’s Safety Center is extremely thankful to partner with the entire University of Arkansas men’s basketball team and the AAC over the next year,” Executive Director Elizabeth Shackelford said in a press release. “We are honored and excited to raise more awareness and education in our community regarding child abuse.”

The Children’s Safety Center’s mission is to empower children to overcome abuse and begin to trust, hope, and heal according to the CSC website. The nonprofit provides resources including therapy, advocacy and medical services for child abuse victims. 

“I think that it’s great that our players are able to contribute back to the community,” head coach Eric Musselman said during the partnership presentation. “I think there is a lot of life lessons these guys can carry on, not just this year from what they are learning from AAC, but all the way into the rest of their lives. The fact that our players are utilizing their time to give back to the community is so impactful in so many different ways.” 

Former Razorback guard JD Notae was in attendance to help AAC usher in a new group of Razorbacks ready to assist nonprofit organizations and the local community. Notae was the first Razorback to sign with AAC in January of this year as an ambassador for The Samaritan Community Center, which provides emergency food assistance, rental and utility assistance and offers a charitable dental clinic for uninsured or low income adults.

The basketball team travels to Europe this month for 10 days. This partnership can help shine a public spotlight on the prevention and advocacy of child abuse. 

Suspicions of child abuse can be reported to the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-842-5964.

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