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University of Florida Head Football Coach Sued for Breach of Contract

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-49-13

On May 10th, 2024, NBC News reported that University of Georgia Quarterback Jaden Rashada has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Billy Napier—the head football coach for the University of Florida (UF)—over a failed Name, Image, and Licensing (NIL) deal. Here, our Miami commercial litigation attorney provides a more comprehensive overview of the case.

Background: NIL and College Athletics

 The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates college athletics in the United States. For many years, strict eligibility rules prevented college athletes from receiving compensation—including for endorsements. New regulations have allowed college athletes to use their Name, Imagine, and Likeness in a commercial manner. You will often hear this referred to by the short-hand “NIL.” Indeed, the agreements have revolutionized college athletics by allowing student-athletes to profit from their personal brand while still maintaining amateur status needed for NCAA eligibility.

 Player Alleges Breach of Contract Over Failed $14 Million NIL Deal 

Jaden Rashada is set to be the backup quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2024. Beyond facing UF on the field next year, he is also facing off against them in court. Mr. Rashada has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against UF and its head football coach Billy Napier. According to the allegations, the athlete had a contract with “Gator Collective”—UF’s official NIL partner. That contract allegedly included a nearly $14 million NIL contract with a $500,000 upfront payment. However, the deal fell apart when the initial payment was reportedly not made as scheduled. The dispute over that NIL payment eventually led to Mr. Rashada withdrawing his commitment to attend the school.  Neither UF nor Coach Napier have yet made a public comment on the breach of contract claim.

 The Elements of a Breach of Contract Claim in Florida 

Contracts are legally binding agreements. You can hold another party liable for damages caused by the breach of a valid contract. To hold another party legally responsible for a breach of contract in Florida, you generally need to prove the following four things:

  • Existence of a Contract: To start, the plaintiff must prove that a valid contract existed between the parties. This includes offer, acceptance, and consideration.
  • Performance or Excused Non Performance: The plaintiff needs to demonstrate that they either performed all the contractual obligations required on their part or, alternatively, had a valid legal excuse for not performing.
  • Defendant’s Breach: Next, it must be shown that the defendant failed to perform one or more terms of the contract, whether this nonperformance was total or partial.
  • Damages Caused By Breach: Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach of contract caused them to suffer damages. In Florida, the remedy for a breach of contract is generally compensatory damages.

Get Help From a Miami Breach of Contract Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami breach of contract lawyers have the skills and legal knowledge that you can trust. If you have any questions about a contract dispute, we can help. Contact our team today to set up your confidential initial consultation. With a legal office in Miami and another office in West Palm Beach, we handle breach of contract cases throughout Southeast Florida.



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