Last Updated on May 19, 2023
The college sports landscape has changed dramatically in the years since the pandemic, from the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments and postponement of sports seasons to stricter regulations when play resumed.
But the years since have also led to a lot of innovation in the college sports space, and two of those innovations, name, image and likeness and the Meals Up initiative, combined earlier this month for an impactful day of community service.
On May 1, over a dozen Rebels student-athletes spanning the program’s football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and women’s volleyball teams joined forces to help the Mid-South Food Bank as part of the Meals Up initiative with Feeding America. The day of service also brought together The Brandr Group, The Grove Collective and the aviation company Wheels Up, who joined with the student-athletes through a name, image and likeness partnership to make a difference in the Oxford community.
“Mid-South Food Bank provides food to local agencies and food distribution sites in 31 counties, aiming to eliminate hunger in West Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas,” a press release detailing the Day of Service said. “Mid-South Food Bank currently distributes an average of four million meals a month through a network of 400 partner agencies. Wheels Up has raised and inspired nearly 90 million meals to Feeding America and will provide additional meals for the local community with Mid-South Food Bank.”
Student-athletes participating in the initiative included quarterback Jaxson Dart, linebacker Monty Montgomery, defensive back Zamari Walton, defensive tackle Jamond Gordon, cornerback John Saunders, receiver Tre Harris, linebacker Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, tight end Caden Prieskorn, middle blocker Sasha Ratliff, pitcher Hunter Elliott, outfielder TJ McCants and guard Matthew Murrell.