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#pounditMonday, February 26, 2024

Star QB Jaden Rashada turned down ‘millions’ from Florida?

Jaden Rashada at a press conference

Four-star quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada committed to Miami on Monday, and there was immediate speculation about how much money he was paid to do so. According to an attorney who represented Rashada in negotiations, the prospect did not go to the highest bidder.

Michael W. Caspino of Forward Counsel in Newport Beach, Calif., told On3’s Jeremy Crabtree that he represented Rashada in Name, Image and Likeness negotiations before Rashada committed to the Hurricanes. Caspino, who has represented many other top athletes in NIL deals, said Rashada took a “considerably lesser NIL deal” from Miami.

“Jaden left millions on the table,” Caspino said. “Millions. He did not pick the highest offer. He went there because he loves Miami, the coaches, and the opportunity.”

Caspino did not reveal actual figures, but Crabtree was told by sources that top Miami booster John Ruiz committed $9.5 million in NIL money to Rashada. The same sources say Rashada turned down an $11 million offer from Gator Collective, which is a booster group for Florida.

Both Ruiz and Gator Collective denied having anything to do with Rashada’s recruitment. Ruiz said he spoke with Caspino about a different player a while back but never had any discussions with him about Rashada.

Gator Collective issued a similar denial, saying they have refused to work with Caspino and disagree with his “tactics.”

College programs are not supposed to use NIL money to lure recruits. However, attorneys like Caspino have found loopholes that allow them to do just that. We doubt Caspino would lie about negotiating with Miami and Florida. It is more likely that boosters associated with the programs do not want to welcome scrutiny from the NCAA.

The Rashada situation is yet another reminder that things have gotten complicated with college sports. Some coaches have openly spoken about how much NIL money they think they need to successfully recruit. The NIL era seems like it is here to stay, though there will likely be some tweaks to avoid the type of back-and-forth we are seeing with Rashada.


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