Citing NBA background, Musselman embracing NIL

By: Scottie Bordelon Scottie Bordelon's Twitter account
Published: Thursday, July 8, 2021
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is shown during a game against LSU on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Fayetteville.
( J.T. Wampler)
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is shown during a game against LSU on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas’ men’s basketball team is embracing the newness of the NCAA’s policy regarding name, image and likeness, which went into effect July 1.

In an effort to become more educated on the topic, players have been taking classes lasting roughly an hour and a half throughout the team’s 10-week summer workout program, Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said Thursday on the ESPN radio show Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin.

“We’re kind of learning right now,” he said. “Everything is new with the name, image and likeness. Basically what these guys are doing, to some degree, is starting their own business individually.

“I do think some guardrails kind of need to be installed kind of for everybody.”

Musselman added that he is in favor of athletes making “whatever they can earn.” Additionally, he is not concerned about NIL potentially disrupting his team’s play and chemistry.

“I think that at least from my background of coaching at the NBA level,” Musselman said, “I’m used to players making money and used to different positions maybe making more, or a star player or more marketable player making more money. It’s not going to affect or have us flinch at all as far as the dynamics in the locker room.

“I think maybe for some other college coaches it’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment. I’m used to my whole team making more money than I was when I was coaching in the NBA.”

Three players — sophomores Davonte Davis and Jaylin Williams, and transfer guard Chris Lykes — are now available to book on Cameo, a platform on which people can request personalized videos from notable figures. Davis, Lykes and Williams can be booked for $40, $30 and $25, respectively.

On the Razorbacks’ women’s team, it was announced this week that 11 players have partnered with Wright’s Barbecue, a restaurant in Johnson.

“We’re all kind of learning as we’re going through this process because it’s so new, not just for administrators, coaches, but also the players,” Musselman said. “We certainly hope our guys can take advantage of that here at Arkansas, and we think they’ll be able to because of us being the flagship program in our state.”

Musselman, entering his third season at Arkansas, added that the college game is continually moving more toward the professional game, and not just in basketball. One example is the transfer market.

“I think you’ve got to adapt with the times. You’ve got to understand where we’re headed and try to, a little bit, predict what the future might look like,” he said.


Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.