Jaden Rashada Suing Florida Head Coach, Booster for Failed $13.85M NIL Deal

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada (5) throws a pass against Arizona during the third quarter at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe on Nov. 25, 2023.

On Tuesday, former Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada filed a lawsuit against Florida head football coach Billy Napier and UF booster Hugh Hathcock, among others, for a failed NIL deal that would’ve paid him $13.85 million.

In the suit, Rashada claims that when he signed his national letter of intent with the Gators on December 21, 2022, it was with the understanding that Napier promised Rashada’s father a $1 million “partial payment” on that day. Rashada allegedly never received that payment, and the UF boosters never held up their end of the deal either.

This is yet another historic moment in the world of name, image, and likeness, as Rashada is the first known college athlete to sue an entity tied to a university over a dispute involving an NIL deal.


According to ESPN, the suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Florida and claims that, by signing with Florida, Rashada turned away from a prior commitment to the University of Miami and a promise there of $9.5 million, which is a portion of the damages Rashada is claiming.

“Sadly, unethical and illegal tactics like this are more and more commonplace in the Wild West that is today’s college football landscape,” the lawsuit states. “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.”

The lawsuit comes at a critical time in the age of NIL, as multiple issues revolve around this topic across the country. In recent months, we’ve seen changes to state laws and NCAA guidelines regarding NIL, plus there’s a monumental wave of momentum for student-athletes to eventually become paid employees of the universities that they represent.


Rashada was eventually released from his national letter of intent with the Gators and ended up with Arizona State for the 2023 season. Now, after just one season with the Sun Devils, Rashada is a member of the Gators’ biggest rival and the newly minted juggernaut of college football: the Georgia Bulldogs.

Rashada’s case is just the latest example of why the NCAA’s inability to properly handle NIL from the beginning will change the landscape of college athletics forever. Now, we just have to wait and see if the people in charge of making the rules can do enough to keep the integrity of the sport intact as we venture into a new and uncertain future.

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