Skip to main content

Rapid Reaction to Jaden Rashada's lawsuit against Billy Napier, others

On3 imageby:Zach Abolverdi05/21/24


Rapid Reaction: Jaden Rashada suing Billy Napier, others

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Jaden Rashada saga with Florida is not over. The former UF quarterback signee, now at rival Georgia after transferring from Arizona State, has decided to take legal action over his NIL deal gone bad.

Rashada filed a 37-page complaint Tuesday morning in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida claiming multiple counts of fraud and tortious interference. Gators coach Billy Napier, former Florida director of NIL and player engagement Marcus Castro-Walker and longtime UF booster Hugh Hathcock are named as defendants.

In the video above, we share our rapid reaction to Tuesday’s news and speak with Jacksonville-based attorney Davarian Rousseau about the case.

Hathcock’s former company, Velocity Automotive, is also named in the lawsuit. Rashada flipped from Miami to Florida on Nov. 10, 2022, after signing an NIL deal with the now-defunct Gator Collective for $13.85 million over four years.

Less than a month later, the contract was terminated on Dec. 7. Rashada still signed early with UF but never enrolled or reached a new NIL deal, so the school released from his letter of intent and he landed at Arizona State instead.

Castro-Walker was terminated by the UAA in late January as the NCAA investigated Rashada’s recruitment to UF. On March 1, however, the NCAA halted investigations into booster-backed collectives and NIL deals after a federal judge’s ruling.

Florida athletic department spokesman Steve McClain released a statement Tuesday after the Rashada lawsuit was filed.

“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.”

According to the complaint filed by Rashada and obtained by GatorsOnline, Rashada is suing on counts of fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, aiding and abetting fraud, civil conspiracy to commit fraud, negligent misrepresentations, tortious interference, aiding and abetting tortious interference and vicarious liability. The complaint is an unprecedented look into high-level NIL negotiations in college football.

“Defendants’ goals were two-fold: (1) to ensure Jaden remained committed to UF; and (2) to avoid paying the promised NIL funds,” the complaint states. “Defendants knew that for most college athletes the prospect of NIL earnings is life changing. Defendants exploited this fact for their own personal advantage.”

Rashada started the first two games of 2023 for Arizona State, but an injury kept him out for most of the season. He threw for 485 yards on 44 of 82 passing with four touchdowns and three interceptions in three appearances.

You may also like