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NIL has changed the game in college athletics and it’s clear there is a long way to go before things are moving smoothly.
The Florida Gators could be in jeopardy of losing All-American 4-star QB Jaden Rashada after a $13 million NIL deal fell through last week, according to The Athletic.
The Athletic states that the deal had presumptive support from one of the Gator Collective’s top boosters, Hugh Hathcock, who donated almost $13 million last year.
But in early December, everything changed abruptly.
Rashada received a letter from the head of the Gator Collective, Eddie Rojas, expressing the group’s desire to terminate the deal for unknown reasons.
The move has left the Florida Gators’ coaching staff stunned as they are not permitted to discuss the specifics of NIL deals with players.
As of now, Rashada remains part of Florida’s 2023 recruiting class but he has yet to enroll, leading to speculation that the highly-touted signal caller may be reconsidering after the botched deal.
Early spring enrollment, which is usually what top recruits do to get in the building as quickly as possible to make the transition into college easier, ended on Jan. 13.
Harlen Rashada, Jaden’s father, told 247Sports that he and his son are “working through some things right now with Florida and hoping that they get resolved soon.”
Rashada has reportedly been offered a lesser NIL deal than the $13 million – still in the seven-figure range – but litigation could be on the table after the Gator Collective decided to pull the deal. That could only come if he decides not to agree to a new deal.
“I would venture to say the Gator Collective is paying more guaranteed money than any group in the country,” Rojas said in April. “When I write a contract, I want to make sure that we actually have the money in our account.”
It’s clear the money wasn’t available in the Gator Collective’s account this time around, or the group was simply unwilling to pay the huge promised sum for whatever reason.
Either way, the status of one of Florida’s most promising prospects remains in limbo.