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New Razorback jerseys could pose problems for local businesses

When the Hogs storm the field to kick off the 2012 season in eighty days, they'll have on some new gear.

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- When the Hogs storm the field to kick off the 2012 season in eighty days, they'll have on some new gear.

The athletic department unveiled the anticipated uniforms Wednesday morning.

The look has former Hogs wanting to step back into time.

"I actually wish I could go back right now just to put on that gear," said Anthony Lucas, who played for the Razorbacks from 1994-99.

Lucas said the fresh look is bound to lure guys to Fayetteville.  He said prospects judge a program on its facilities first, and jerseys second.

"Believe it or not, kids look at that because they worry about 'Man, if I do become a Razorback, they got that Hog big on my helmet,'" Lucas said.

But diehard fans could have a tough time finding their favorite player's jersey.  Nike, the exclusive maker of the jerseys, only licenses a few stores in the state.

University Gift & Apparel managers have applied again for a license after Nike executives told them they didn't make enough money to sell them.

That's what many local stores hear.

"We're just patiently waiting hopefully they'll realize how much income it could bring to the income," said Nour Sbait of University of Gift & Apparel.

Sbait said that drives away business.

"I have to send them away to other stores that might have it and half of the time I call to save the customer some time and they're sold out by then," Sbait said.

He hopes they can convince Nike that Razorback gear is a hot item anywhere.


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