Longtime UNT booster Don Lovelace and Rick Villarreal, the university’s former athletic director, helped organize the Light the Tower Collective in July 2022. UNT’s collective has already formed a board, contacted more than 150 people and hopes to execute NIL deals with UNT athletes across a number of different sports. “This is the No. 1 priority to move the program to where it needs to be,” Villarreal told the Denton Record-Chronicle. “We are going to step into a conference where the competition and the recruiting process are tougher. We need to have every tool we can to attract top student-athletes and retain them.” Villarreal will serve as the CEO of the collective, which has registered as a nonprofit organization. The group has 12 directors who include several prominent boosters and former UNT athletes, including Craig Robertson, a UNT linebacker who went on to play nine seasons in the NFL.