Former ASU quarterback Jaden Rashada sues Florida coach Billy Napier, Gators boosters

May 21, 2024, 7:49 AM | Updated: 7:50 am

Arizona State QB Jaden Rashada...

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada will transfer to Georgia, he announced. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Former Arizona State Sun Devil and current Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jaden Rashada filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier and boosters at the school claiming they defrauded him by backing out of a $13.85 million name, image and likeness agreement.

ESPN reports that Rashada, who signed with Florida before being released and inked by ASU for the 2023 season, claims Napier promised the quarterback’s father, former ASU defensive back Harlen, $1 million as a partial payment upon his son’s signing on Dec. 21, 2022.

The elder Rashada never saw that money, and the college quarterback only ended up receiving a $150,000 payment after agreeing to the NIL contract, the lawsuit said.

Rashada, who has committed to Georgia after leaving Arizona State in the transfer portal, started three games for the Sun Devils as a freshman in 2023.

Rashada’s filing says the quarterback turned down offers of $9.5 million from Miami, a school he was previously committed to. That claim is included in the damages listed on the lawsuit.

The filing is the first legal action related to a college NIL dispute, according to ESPN.

It states (car dealership owner Hugh) Hathcock approached Rashada when Rashada visited Florida in June 2022 and said he would get the quarterback “whatever [he] needed” and mentioned a possible job for Rashada’s father. Later that summer, the lawsuit states, Hathcock put a dollar figure on that deal: $11 million.

By then, Rashada had made a verbal commitment to Miami and the offer of a $9.5 million NIL deal, which was widely reported in the media at the time. According to the filing, Florida’s “pressure campaign” came back with an offer of $13.85 million over four years: $5.35 million from Hathcock — including a $500,000 “signing bonus” through Velocity Automotive — and the remainder paid through Hathcock’s NIL collective Gator Guard.

Hathcock is listed as a defendant on the lawsuit, according to ESPN, which details the Florida group’s attempts to terminate the NIL agreement. A $150,000 payment from Hathcock to Rashada was the only money the player received from Florida’s group.

Rashada announced a flip from Miami to Florida on Nov. 10, 2022 as a contract was agreed upon. From ESPN:

On Dec. 6, 2022, less than a month after Rashada announced his flip to Florida, he received a letter from the Gator Collective “purporting to terminate” the $13.85 million NIL contract, the lawsuit states. Sources familiar with the negotiations told ESPN that the version of the contract Rashada signed included a provision that it could be terminated only with cause, although the letter didn’t note a specific one.

How did Jaden Rashada end up at Arizona State, Georgia?

Rashada was released from his national letter of intent after the Gator Collective — an independent fundraising group that’s loosely tied to the university and pays student-athletes for use of their name, image and likeness — failed to honor a four-year deal worth more than $13 million.

Rashada was among the top 40 prospects in the country, according to ESPN, when he signed with Florida in December 2022.

Rashada is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound passer from Pittsburg, California. He threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.

Rashada will compete at Georgia with returning starter Carson Beck, who went 12-1 in his first season leading the Bulldogs.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Former ASU quarterback Jaden Rashada sues Florida coach Billy Napier, Gators boosters