Florida Football: Billy Napier responds to Jaden Rashada lawsuit

Appearing at SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Napier touched base on the pending lawsuit from the one time Gator commit
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

The news never sleeps for Florida Football, and last week, the Gators were hit with a massive headache as former commit Jaden Rashada filed a lawsuit suing Billy Napier, among others, in relation to a failed NIL deal meant to get Rashada in Gainesville.

Appearing at SEC Spring Meetings, Napier touched on the lawsuit and expressed confidence the outcome will be in his favor.

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At the heart of the lawsuit as it pertains to Napier, it is alleged that Napier made a phone call to Rashada promising him a $1 million signing bonus if he went ahead and signed his letter of intent with the Gators.

The contract was terminated soon after and Rashada never made it to Gainesville.

In a video posted on X by Trey Wallace of OutKick, Napier was asked by media members at SEC Spring Meetings about the lawsuit. Napier was reserved, but confident things would go his way.

"It's important for everyone to understand that I can't comment due to the litigation. But I do have confidence in our legal team and I'm comfortable with my actions, and I'm thankful for the university's support"

Billy Napier

Most legal experts seem to think that Rashada is going to have a very hard time proving his case against Napier. The language of the NIL contract made it clear either party could terminate the deal at any time. And even if hypothetically Napier did promise Rashada $1 million, proving that in court is also going to be difficult since Florida is a two-party consent state, and even if there is a recording of the phone call there would have to be proof that Napier consented to the phone call being recorded.

In 2022, it was against NCAA rules for coaches to have any direct involvement in NIL negotiations, so a potential promise of money from Napier would have been a massive violation. But after last week's settlement of an antitrust suit that will allow universities to pay players directly in the near future, combined with the NCAA pausing their own investigation into the Rashada case, there appears to be a good chance Napier is going to emerge from this incident without any penalties levied his way.