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YOUR BALANCE
Knee jerk reaction to this Rashada / Florida story is this:
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Knee jerk reaction to this Rashada / Florida story is this:

7

Jan 14, 2023, 8:35 AM

If this kid was really trying to hold up Florida for $13 MILLION in NIL deals, then that falling through may be the best thing to happen in college football in two years. And, IF, as a result of him (or more likely his family) holding out for that kind of money suddenly is that he doesn't FIND a school willing to come up with that kind of hostage money, then that would be an even better result for college football.

There has to be a tipping point to this madness somewhere. Could it be that this situation is it? Florida has his name on an NLI. Unless he, or his family can produce signed contracts that say he is due $13 MILLION that is now being welched on, he doesn't have a leg to stand on. More likely, there were "negotiations" going on, and some adult in the room suddenly woke up and realized they were crazy. I actually hope that is exactly what happened.

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Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they

2

Jan 14, 2023, 8:37 AM

backed out. Not a good look.

https://theathletic.com/4087681/2023/01/13/jaden-rashada-florida-gators-football/?source=freeweeklyemail&campaign=602288

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What's a worse look is they actually wrote that contract***

6

Jan 14, 2023, 8:39 AM



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Agreed...This guy isn't even ranked ahead of our QB

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:51 AM

commit.

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If Florida is an at will employment state that kid

2

Jan 14, 2023, 8:40 AM [ in reply to Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they ]

Won’t get anything

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Re: Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they


Jan 14, 2023, 8:43 AM [ in reply to Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they ]

If the reporting is accurate, it kinda sounded like he had to decide between a bird in the hand in the way of a reduced NIL deal or sue for the bird in the bush to enforce the $13MM contract.

Then, even if he goes to another school and receives an NIL contract from them, he can still attempt to sue Florida for damages equal to the difference between offers.

This Wild West stuff is bound to spill over into the courts soon given the money involved.

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Re: Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:44 AM [ in reply to Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they ]

It’s a pay article, Cliffs?

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Re: Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they


Jan 14, 2023, 8:46 AM

https://theathletic.com/4087681/2023/01/13/jaden-rashada-florida-gators-football/?amp=1

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Here you go...

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:48 AM [ in reply to Re: Florida wrote him a contract for $13 Million...Then they ]

How the $13 million recruitment of Jaden Rashada for Florida fell apart


ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 03: Team Speed quarterback Jaden Rashada (5) throws before the Under Armour Next All-America Football Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando FL on January 3, 2022. (Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
By G. Allan Taylor
Jan 13, 2023
221
Save Article
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that the Gator Collective’s Edward Rojas and Jen Grosso signed a contract with Jaden Rashada on Nov. 10. Grosso, who’s involved in coordinating post-agreement activities for players, did not sign the contract.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Quarterback signee Jaden Rashada is stuck in play-action purgatory as Florida works to fix a name, image and likeness indiscretion.

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Whether you’ve followed this recruiting saga casually or with a white-hot focus, this explainer provides a bumper-to-bumper breakdown that aims to illuminate, educate and postulate:

Who are the people involved?

Along with Gators head coach Billy Napier and athletic director Scott Stricklin, here are the central figures:

Jaden Rashada, four-star quarterback from Pittsburg, Calif., and the No. 56 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Among the highest-ranked quarterbacks landed by the Gators in the past decade, he signed his national letter of intent on Dec. 21, and following an appearance at the Under-Armour All-American event in Orlando on Jan. 3, he reiterated to The Athletic that he planned to enroll at Florida two days later.

Harlen Rashada, Jaden’s father and a former defensive back at Arizona State.

Eddie Rojas, CEO of the Gator Collective, which he launched in August 2021. A former Florida baseball player who entered the NIL space with a crowdsourcing platform, Rojas hoped to make his alma mater known as “NIL U.”

He said of his collective in April: “I would venture to say the Gator Collective is paying more guaranteed money than any group in the country. When I write a contract, I want to make sure that we actually have the money in our account.”


Billy Napier’s Florida team went 6-7 in his first season in 2022. (Kim Klement / USA Today)
Jen Grosso, NIL coordinator for the Gator Collective. Known as “Gator Jen” to the fan base — it’s also her Twitter handle — Grosso holds finance and law degrees from the University of Florida.

Hugh Hathcock, mega-donor who pledged $12.6 million to Florida’s athletic department in 2022. In April, he launched the Gator Guard — an assembly of wealthy donors capable of writing checks larger than the fan collective could amass in years. Hathcock said, “Players need to know if they come to the University of Florida that they’re going to have the best opportunities NIL-wise as any school in America.”

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Marcus Castro-Walker, the Gators’ director of player engagement and NIL, among the first crush of staffers hired by Napier upon becoming Florida’s head coach in December 2021.

Tracking the Rashada timeline

June 7: Jaden Rashada takes an official visit to Florida. The Rashadas assure the staff that NIL is not a factor in Jaden’s recruitment, claiming “there’s a misconception about us out there.” The visit ends with Florida looking like the frontrunner for Rashada.

June 9-12: Rashada joins his 7-on-7 team the Miami Immortals — a travel squad funded by University of Miami billionaire booster John Ruiz — at the OT7 national tournament in Las Vegas.

June 20: Initially scheduled to reveal his commitment on June 18, Rashada postpones the announcement and schedules an official visit to Miami.

June 26: Rashada commits to Miami over Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The Gators staff had pulled its scholarship offer days earlier.

Nov. 10: Rashada and the Gator Collective agree to terms on an NIL deal exceeding $13 million. Such a massive pledge is thought to dramatically exceed the Gator Collective’s fundraising level, so the deal presumes assistance from Hathcock or other Gator Guard donors. After signing the contract, Rashada decommits from Miami and flips to Florida.

Nov. 12: Rashada attends his first game at The Swamp, where Florida clobbers South Carolina 38-6 and a capacity crowd elevates the vibe. “Everything about this felt like the right decision for Jaden,” Harlen says.

Dec. 7: Rojas sends a termination letter regarding the $13 million contract, according to a program source close to the situation. There are conflicting accounts about why the deal crumbled and who pledged to pay what. Multiple conversations ensue between donors and athletic department members, including Castro-Walker and Stricklin. Some within the administration are only now getting up to speed on what was promised — the program aiming to keep these third-party NIL dealings at arm’s length. Yet these conversations ultimately focus on finding contingencies for keeping the class’ highest-profile recruit in the fold.


Dec. 21: Delayed 67 minutes, Napier’s late-afternoon news conference on national signing day finally commences. Rashada’s name, initially missing from the list of signees, is added at the last minute. “I just think there’s a high level of trust on both ends there,” Napier says about recruiting the Elite 11 quarterback. “I’m really excited about what he’s going to bring to our team. … Can’t compliment Jaden enough relative to who he is as a person, as a leader, his character. Jaden is a guy who came here and fell in love with the University of Florida and really connected with a lot of people here. It was sincere.”


Taylor: Billy Napier doing flips over Jaden Rashada. 'We felt like the connection is real'
Dec. 29: Rashada arrives in Orlando to begin practicing for the Under-Armour All-American game. He compliments fellow Florida signees and says he’s eager to start workouts with receivers at the indoor facility. Rashada describes Napier as a coach who “likes to connect to people” and adds, “Who wouldn’t want to play for a good dude?”

Dec. 30: In an interview mere days before Rashada’s scheduled enrollment, Harlen calls Napier “a leader of men” and says Jaden is “happy as I’ve ever seen him.” Harlen offers only sparse thoughts about NIL: “It’s new in the college landscape. It does impact recruiting and the game — but I think there are far more positives than negatives. This process was not great, was not perfect, but you’re just trying to make the right decision with your son.”

Jan. 3: Moments after the Under-Armour game at Camping World Stadium, Rashada poses for pictures with other Florida signees. He lauds Napier’s offense, saying, “I’m meant for the Florida system” and that he has gotten a head start on studying formations. Then he waves to his family in the bleachers. The Rashadas intend to drive from Orlando to Gainesville for move-in day on Jan. 5.

Jan. 10: Sixteen early enrollees report, but Rashada is not among them, casting doubt about his future. There is still a probability he ultimately enrolls at Florida, although Rashada has returned to the West Coast.

Jan. 11: A program source with knowledge of the entanglement says Rashada won’t be enrolling at Florida. “There’s a lot of panic. It’s like stepping on an ant pile.” There’s also the potential for litigation, hinging upon whether the November contract is binding. The collectives, according to another program source with knowledge of the situation, are offering a lesser deal to Rashada — still above seven figures — to stay at Florida, with the caveat that he release everyone from all previous claims.


GO DEEPER
With recruiting drama over, Jaden Rashada ready to compete at Florida: 'It's going to be crazy'
Refuting an On3 report claiming Rashada asked to be released from his national letter of intent at Florida, Harlen says his son has not filed for such a release. In addition, he told 247Sports that the family is “working through some things right now with Florida and hoping that they get resolved soon.” While saying his son is anticipating early enrollment in Gainesville, Harlen admits the situation becomes murkier if there is not a resolution by Jan. 13, the spring semester’s late-registration deadline.


Jan. 13: While this is the final deadline for students to start the spring semester, let’s not pretend the admissions office won’t grant an exception of a couple of days for an Elite 11 quarterback. Regardless, this points toward a make-or-break 11th-hour decision by Rashada — accept Florida’s counter and enroll or begin speed-dialing other FBS schools. Of course, there’s the chance that he could sacrifice spring and enroll at Florida in late May, which might crash the message boards over such extended drama.

Has this become a lose-lose for Florida?

Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz arrives with two years of eligibility, and Jack Miller returns from an unflattering start in the Las Vegas Bowl. That’s hardly a scintillating duo. Those two are more of the getting-by variety, two older quarterbacks capable of steering the Gators through a rebuild.

Rashada brought real juice. Sure, he needed to pack on some weight as part of his freshman orientation, but he’s a blue-chip high school quarterback — the type top contenders sign each year, the type absent from Florida’s previous two classes. Stack these QBs year after year, and teams have a group familiar with their system and are deep enough to absorb a bust. Go through a recruiting slump, and teams are perpetually picking through the portal for guys who must be reprogrammed.

Even if the relationship somehow proves salvageable and Rashada enrolls in Gainesville, would it only portend future dysfunction? Having overcome one breakup last summer, can the program and Rashada’s camp repair another rift? At a position that demands leadership intangibles and deeply grooved trust with coaches, it’s hard to fathom a quarterback enduring a messier launch to his college career.

The recent behind-the-scenes interplay — from the December signing day hangup to this week’s enrollment drama — has created bruised feelings at a minimum and abject animosity. There’s a comparison to Major League Baseball arbitration, in which a player touts his value even as his own team argues to diminish it. Of course, those hearings typically involve grown men, calloused by previous professional contract negotiations. Rashada is 19 years old, mere weeks removed from his high school graduation, although with college football recruiting being shaped by various tiers of NIL pitches, it has undeniably surged into a professional realm.

SEC recruiting in the NIL era is saltier than ever: First, Nick Saban says Texas A&M “bought every player” in its top-ranked class, and now the Gators are saddled with the damning perception that they defaulted on what was promised to their top-rated signee.

It’s a dilemma. Not from the perspective of the state NIL law or an NCAA guideline, neither of which is being enforced, but a dilemma that impacts optics. Is this a one-off misstep, or have the Gators completely flubbed their first swing at NIL? Why haven’t we heard of Alabama, Georgia or other SEC schools suffering such public embarrassments?

When Napier took the Florida job, he extolled the alignment from the president to the AD to the head coach. Now Ben Sasse is replacing Kent ##### as the president, and the Rashada predicament screams that alignment is disjointed.

Already time to realign.

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Re: Here you go...


Jan 14, 2023, 8:56 AM

Thanks, tried to read yesterday and didn't want to pay. Really appreciate you posting it. Do you find it's worth it to pay. Tia

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It was a really great deal when it was $1 per month...


Jan 14, 2023, 10:29 AM

but then the NYT bought it and jacked up the price. Still GREAT sports coverage and lots of ACC/SEC/Clemson coverage. There is a special right now for $1.99/month for a year. No doubt its worth that.

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Re: Here you go...

3

Jan 14, 2023, 9:23 AM [ in reply to Here you go... ]

This story and the entire NIL process reminds me of Iranian TV, mostly a Shiite show.

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The more stories like this emerge

7

Jan 14, 2023, 8:39 AM

the more the light of day can hopefully begin to expose and change things. The receiver that went from Pitt to SoCal apparently had major promises broken to him. More stuff like that needs to happen sadly

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Re: The more stories like this emerge

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:57 AM

^^^ spot on ^^^

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Schools really should get together and

2

Jan 14, 2023, 8:39 AM

Set limits on what to pay based on position etc. face it the nfl does something similar for draft picks coming in . If they don’t nothing will stop this crap.

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Methinks that would be called "Collusion in restraint of the

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:44 AM

Free Market", or something highfallutingly illegal like that.

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But it’s only capitalism if it helps business owners not employees


Jan 14, 2023, 8:46 AM

-most people on here

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Pro's address these things through collective bargaining

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:47 AM [ in reply to Methinks that would be called "Collusion in restraint of the ]

we're heading there. You can't have limits in professional sports and none in still supposedly amateur sports. When the entities seek to step outside the established rules, then collusion occurs, and that's a problem

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Re: Knee jerk reaction to this Rashada / Florida story is this:

1

Jan 14, 2023, 8:43 AM

Agreed have not looked it up but this thing could get to be bigger money than the rookie contracts signed in the NFL. Again at least the NFL has salary caps. Good business folks can make some things work but you do get penalized if you are over the cap. I’m guessing in the form of cash and loss of draft picks.

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MEG


Re: Knee jerk reaction to this Rashada / Florida story is this:

4

Jan 14, 2023, 9:04 AM

Position coach drives to work in a 2008 Honda with Walmart shoes and kid strolls in with Ferrari and a Rolex... what could possibly go wrong.

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All Barn will take her, by hiring Mr. Freeze, they've proved

2

Jan 14, 2023, 8:57 AM

they'll abandon all ethics and pride to be relevant in the $EC.

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Re: All Barn will take her, by hiring Mr. Freeze, they've proved

1

Jan 14, 2023, 9:23 AM

Yes, this is the one I think with Freeze will go to top of football world sooner than later. Then Alabama gets pissed and starts spending more to not let Auburn beat them. Then Georgia starts spending more and on and on it goes. Clemson can not keep up with these bankers and billionaire booster of Miami

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Re: Knee jerk reaction to this Rashada / Florida story is this:

2

Jan 14, 2023, 9:20 AM

Does this mean that the football staff recruited a kid for a couple of years, securing his commitment. But the Director of the NIL collective, not a football or athletic staff member, made a decision to pull or change the NLI offer resulting in the player deciding to look elsewhere...?

New world for coaches if the NLI Directors have more influence as to who is on your team than the coaching staff.

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It's just one example of how corrupt and frankly sick the


Jan 14, 2023, 9:49 AM

sport has become due to all this crap.

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hmm, I didn't see the commentary from the

1

Jan 14, 2023, 9:58 AM

young student athlete about his major at Florida. Surely, he'll have to find a suitable school with the same desired major. Right? LMAO!

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Re: Knee jerk reaction to this Rashada / Florida story is this:

2

Jan 14, 2023, 10:51 AM

You are 100%, this could be what tips the first domino. Let the lawsuit begin, I hope it is scandalous and includes the collectives, coaches, university and NCAA. It will take this type of situation for some type of regulations to be drawn up and then oversight to go along with it.

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