Bay Area native QB files historic NIL lawsuit against Florida coach, booster alleging fraud

J.R. Stone Image
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Bay Area native QB files NIL lawsuit against Florida coach, booster
Bay Area native quarterback Jaden Rashada is suing the Florida Gators head football coach and others for at least $10 million over a NIL deal.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A young man from the San Francisco Bay Area is suing the University of Florida head football coach along with one of the school's main boosters for fraud in a Name-Image-Likeness deal gone bad. The lawsuit is being called historic and first of its kind.

Jaden Rashada, a former quarterback at Pittsburg High School is making headlines, suing Florida Gators head football coach Billy Napier, University of Florida booster Hugh Hathcock, and others for fraud.

It involves a NIL deal with promised money that Rashada, who played at Arizona State University last year, says he never received. He's now seeking at least $10 million for damages.

"The entire area of NIL is one hazy big mess right now. There really are no enforceable rules right now," said attorney Mike Levinson.

Levinson is a Bay Area lawyer familiar with these NIL deals. He's Senior Councel at Phillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin LLP. He's not only well versed with Rashada's case but the major issue right now with the NCAA.

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"Imagine right now if the NFL had free agency for every single player, every single year, and there was no salary cap. And not only that but it was the fans paying these athletes as much money as they can possibly raise. That's what's going on in college sports right now," said Levinson.

Court documents filed Tuesday talk about Rashada's initial plan to go to the University of Miami for a $9.5 million dollar NIL deal. He backed out of that and instead went to Florida where he says boosters pressured him by offering him more money.

Court documents say "the ultimate proposal promised Jaden $13.85 million over four years at UF" despite text messages from defendants saying "dude is rich and we just got started." Rashada says he didn't receive that money.

Within the documents, Jaden says he signed his National Letter of Intent with Florida within an hour of Coach Napier assuring his father that $1 million would be wired from a booster. Something that he says never happened.

Rashada is now at the University of Georgia without an NIL contract. The University of Florida issued a statement saying in part:

"We do not comment on ongoing litigation, and neither the University Athletic Association nor the University are named in the complaint. The UAA will provide for Coach Napier's personal counsel, and we will direct all questions to those representatives."

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