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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Jaden Rashada sues Florida coach Billy Napier over failed NIL deal

Jaden Rashada with hats in front of him

Jaden Rashada backed out of his commitment to Florida last year after an NIL agreement went sour, and the quarterback is now suing the school over the situation.

Rashada’s legal team at Rusty Hardin & Associates, LLP announced on Tuesday that they have filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Rashada against Florida head coach Billy Napier, football staffer Marcus Castro-Walker, and prominent Gators booster Hugh Hathcock. The lawsuit stems from the $13.85 million NIL offer Florida made to Rashada to pry the former 5-star prospect away from Miami.

Rashada committed to Miami in June 2022 after agreeing to a $9.5 million NIL deal. He then flipped to Florida after being promised millions more. The complaint, which was filed in the Pensacola Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, alleges that Napier, Hathcock and others engaged in fraud by making financial promises to Rashada that they never intended to follow through on.

The complaint also claims Florida promised Rashada would receive $1 million if he signed with the Gators on National Signing Day but never followed through. The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and damages of at least $10 million.

“Sadly, this type of fraud is becoming more commonplace in the Wild West that is today’s college NIL landscape,” Rusty Hardin said in a statement provided to Larry Brown Sports. “Wealthy alumni, consumed by their schools’ athletic programs, are taking advantage of young people by offering them life-changing sums of money, only to renege on their commitments. As the first scholar-athlete to take a stand against this egregious behavior, Jaden seeks to hold these defendants accountable for their actions and to expose their as-yet unchecked abuse of power.”

Florida eventually released Rashada from his letter of intent in January 2023. The quarterback later committed to Arizona State and played for the Sun Devils. Rashada appeared in three games for ASU in the 2023 season and passed for 485 yards, 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

The Gator Collective, which had arranged the deal with Rashada that fell through, has since been shut down. Florida is being investigated by the NCAA over the recruitment of Rashada.

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