Georgia QB Jaden Rashada sues Florida HC Billy Napier, boosters over $13.85 million NIL deal

Jaden Rashada
Credit: Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jaden Rashada is suing Florida Gators coach Billy Napier and top boosters for the University of Florida athletic department over failing to pay compensation over a NIL deal that would’ve paid him nearly $14 million.

Rashada, age 20, originally committed to play college football for the Miami Hurricanes before he flipped his comment to Florida. The decision to recommit from Miami and pledge to in-state rival Florida came amid reporters that the Gators offered him an NIL deal worth $13.85 million.

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However, right before he was poised to enroll at Florida, the 6-foot-4 quarterback requested a release from his National Letter of Intent. The reasoning behind Rashada’s decision to leave the Gators’ football program was reportedly due to the failure to follow through on the $13.85 million NIL deal.

Rashada spent his freshman season with the Arizona State Sun Devils, completing 53.7 percent of his 82 attempts for 485 yards with a 4-3 TD-INT ratio. He saw the most playing time on Aug. 31 against Southern Utah, making his first collegiate start and throwing for 236 passing yards with 2 touchdowns.

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The former Sun Devils’ quarterback entered the transfer portal in April, fielding immediate interest from top Power 4 schools. On April 25, he transferred to the University of Georgia to compete with Gunner Stockton to be Carson Beck’s backup quarterback in 2024.

In a lawsuit obtained by Paula Lavigne and Dan Murphy of ESPN, it was revealed that Rashada is suing Napier along with several Florida Gators boosters with claims he was defrauded out of millions of dollars in the NIL deal they backed out of.

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Rashada’s lawsuit alleges that he signed his national letter of intent with Florida on Dec. 21, 2022, which came after Napier allegedly promised Rashada’s father a $1 million “partial payment” on the same day once the quarterback signed. However, Rashada’s family never received that payment.

“Sadly, unethical and illegal tactics like this are more and more commonplace in the Wild West that is today’s college football landscape. As the first scholar-athlete to take a stand against such egregious behavior by adults who should know better, Jaden seeks to hold Defendants accountable for their actions and to expose the unchecked abuse of power that they shamelessly wielded.

Part of Jaden Rashada’s lawsuit against Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier, University of Florida boosters

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Rashada is the first known college athlete to sue a coach or booster over an alleged failure to pay promised NIL compensation. However, there have been frequent rumors across the NCAA within the last year that other schools and boosters have not followed through on NIL promises.

As all of this is happening, the NCAA and Power 4 conference are weighing a $2 billion settlement tied to the House vs NCAA case. If the settlement is approved by NCAA officials, resulting in a $2.7 payout to college athletes, it could have massive ramifications for college sports including opening the door to colleges directly paying student-athletes in binding contract agreements.

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