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UNC Trio to Lead First Chapters of Athletes.org

Last Updated: November 16, 2023
Athletes.org is starting men’s and women’s basketball ACC chapters, with RJ Davis, Armando Bacot, and Deja Kelly leading the way.

Athletes.org, the organization that Jim Cavale and Brandon Copeland founded to help student-athletes navigate their off-court businesses and responsibilities, has started its first two chapters — ACC men’s basketball and ACC women’s basketball.

The chapters will bring member athletes together to discuss and vote on key issues relevant to them in college athletics and to make decisions regarding group licensing for NIL deals. North Carolina Tar Heels RJ Davis and Armando Bacot founded the men’s chapter, while UNC’s Deja Kelly did the same for the women.

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Davis, Bacot, and Kelly will serve as the outward faces of their chapters, helping teammates and peers join and encouraging members to vote on key issues.

“I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to help shape the future of college athletics,” Duke guard Jeremy Roach told Boardroom. “I love that they give players free resources to help them navigate the NIL world better and, more importantly, a platform to help provide the athletes’ perspective so college sports can continue to improve for everyone.”

The idea to create chapters, rather than leaving each athlete to use Athletes.org on their own, comes from Cavale’s awareness that not all athletes have the same NCAA experience. He played college baseball at Division II University of Montevallo and knew full well that a football player at the nearby University of Alabama existed in a completely different world. In this case, men’s basketball players in the ACC will be able to discuss issues relevant to them. Women’s players will be able to do the same. Look for more chapters to pop up soon, covering more sports at varying levels.

For now, however, you won’t have to go far to keep up with what AO and the ACC chapters are doing. AO has launched “A Seat at the Table,” a video series hosted by Cavale and Copeland. In the series, they sit down for dinner with chapter co-founders to discuss issues facing student-athletes. The first episode, which will feature Davis, Bacot, Kelly, and Duke Blue Devils Roach and Spencer Hubbard, can be seen below.

In addition, Athletes.org announced that it has added two big names to its board of directors — Hall of Fame basketball coach Jim Boeheim and former Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour. They join the likes of Reggie Love, Amy Huchthausen, Omari Hardwick, and others.

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Russell Steinberg

Russell Steinberg is an editor and writer at Boardroom. He came to the brand in 2021 with a decade of experience in sports journalism, primarily covering college basketball at SB Nation as a writer, reporter, and blog manager. In a previous life, he worked as a social media strategist and copywriter, handling accounts ranging from sports retail to luxury hotels and financial technology. Though he has mastered the subtweet, he kindly requests you @ him next time.