For as long as he has been a college basketball coach, Eric Musselman has been unique when it comes to game day attire.
Most basketball coaches — college or the NBA — historically have worn a suit or a sports coat while on the bench during games. Musselman, dating to his days as head coach at the University of Nevada, has eschewed that look, opting instead for wearing short-sleeved, Polo-style dress shirts.
The Arkansas Razorbacks head coach is one of the sport’s winningest active coaches. So by all means, coach, don’t change a thing with your clothing.
Musselman is now trying another unique approach with his apparel. In recent weeks, he has appeared at news conferences wearing T-shirts that feature corporate logos of various University of Arkansas athletics sponsors.
Some of them are national. Some are local. In a press gaggle Dec. 27 to preview the Hogs’ upcoming road game at Indiana University, Musselman wore a gray T-shirt with a logo on the chest of Fayetteville-based restaurant chain Slim Chickens. Two days later in Bloomington, Musselman changed out of the Polo shirt he wore during the game against the Hoosiers and into a black T-shirt with the Pepsi logo before meeting the media.
On Jan. 4, following Arkansas’ win against Texas A&M at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Musselman again changed shirts before attending his postgame news conference. This time to meet the media, he wore a white T-shirt with a Walmart logo. He’s also worn T-shirts with logos for Hellmann’s and Taco Bell. All of the T-shirts are similarly designed, with an offset Razorback logo on the left chest.
University of Arkansas spokesman Kevin Trainor said the T-shirt idea is something Musselman came up with himself.
“It’s not [a stipulation] included in any of our sponsorship agreements,” Trainor said. “I think he just wanted to show some support for those corporate sponsors that are supporting our program, as well as highlight the successful businesses within our state.
“I anticipate he will showcase more of our [corporate] partners as the season goes along.”
Arkansas (14-3, 3-2) is back in action Wednesday (Jan. 22) at Mississippi State (11-6, 2-3). Tip-off is 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.