Athletes Lawyer

Keeping You In The Game

Families need to be careful with NIL deals

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Current Events |

Many agree that the Name Image Likeness (NIL) deals have been a boon for some college athletes. Sometimes, it even trickles down to heavily recruited high schoolers who commit to certain schools. Such was the case for 4-star quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada, who reportedly showed up to a regional Elite 11 football camp in Las Vegas with an unprecedented $9.5 million deal last year.

Redondo Union High School quarterback was not a 5-star recruit, nor was he as highly touted as Malachi Nelson or Dante Moore, who were also at that camp. But, he had just committed to Miami, whose boosters organized the NIL mega deal.

Too much pressure

Keeping in mind that we are talking about someone still in high school, it is unsurprising that the newfound fame (or infamy) created a stir at camp as hundreds looked on in the stands. According to one coach at the camp, the kids were openly talking about the deal, asking him how it happened and how they could get one too.

The young quarterback became increasingly uncomfortable with the attention. Wilting under the bright glare, Rashada’s performance was beyond shaky. His balls were badly missing receivers. Tied up by the details of cutting the deal, Rashada also showed up unprepared, having not read the playbooks organizers sent out to the participants.

Things got even crazier when Rashada switched from Miami to rival Florida for a $13.85 million deal from the Gator Collective, a booster for Florida. The incentivized deal came with a $500,000 initial payment before even committing to Florida.

Two days after the payment was due last December, the Gator Collective killed the deal, which it was allowed to do because its terms violated NCAA rules — contact with the athlete before enrollment and using it as recruiting inducement is a no-no. Burned, Rashada switched his commitment to Arizona and currently has no NIL.

It’s now out in the open

Rashada is a recruit from the class of 2024 and is listed outside the top 150 recruits. This wheeling and dealing illustrate the money involved in NIL deals

. It should be noted that the two biggest names from 2023 are Arch Manning and Bronny James. They are getting multi-million dollar deals and come from families who have experience with big-time athletic deals – Bronny’s father is LeBron James, and Arch is Archie Manning’s grandson and nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning.

Brand recognition is massive in the NIL era, and those guys have it even before competing. If health and interest hold, they will have every opportunity to become professional athletes. Moreover, they are prepared for it, having grown up in it as a family business.

Not everyone is born into it

Rashada and many others do not have celebrity pedigrees, so it is even more essential that these families with young athletes work with people they can trust and who have the student athlete’s best interests in mind. They are professionals who can make deals that avoid missteps like Gator Collective’s illegal offer and Miami’s treatment of a recruit. Knowledgeable and ethical guidance is critical for finding the right NIL deal.