Miami QB Recruit's $9.5M NIL Deal Stirs Controversy | Athletic Business

Miami QB Recruit's $9.5M NIL Deal Stirs Controversy

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One of the top quarterback recruits in the class of 2023 has reportedly signed with the Miami Hurricanes, allegedly agreeing to a $9.5 million name, image and likeness deal associated with Miami booster John Ruiz. 

According to Bleacher Report, Jaden Rashada, a four-start quarterback out of Pittsburgh who was ranked the No. 7 quarterback recruit in his class according to 247Sports, passed up an $11 million offer from Florida's Gator Collective. 

"Jaden left millions on the table," Michael W. Caspino, who is known as an NIL lawyer, said. "Millions. He did not pick the highest offer. He went there because he loves Miami, the coaches and the opportunity."

Caspino went on to call Florida "the most dysfunctional collective in all of college football," saying that the plans on "steering my clients away from them." 

The Gator Collective responded with a statement on Twitter, saying the the collective has never had "any communications with Mr. Caspino about Jaden Rashada or any recruits." The statement also said that the collective has refused to speak with Caspino and does not "approve of his tactics." 

Gator Collective attorney Darren Heitner alleged Caspino may be in violation of NCAA rules. 

"Lawyer Michael Caspino just went on record, admitting to an NCAA violation. If he took an NIL deal, lesser or not, by picking the Hurricanes, then that's a violation no matter what his contract states," wrote Heitner. "The Gator Collective is not at all dysfunctional. It, like many other NIL collectives across the country, refuse to negotiate with Caspino. Instead, GC has/will continue to focus on supporting Florida Gator athletes."

Miami booster John Ruiz denied he'd ever worked with Caspino and in the end denied that his company, Life Wallet, had agreed to a $9.5 million deal with Rashada. 

“The report by is inaccurate as it relates to Jaden Rashada,” Ruiz said. “I have never spoken to Mr. Caspino about Jaden Rashada. Mr. Caspino and I spoke about an unrelated player months ago and had a very professional and pleasant conversation. I respect him.”

Later, Caspino backpedaled on his comments about the deal, saying none of it was about the money for Rashada. 

"Jaden Rashada is chasing one thing, a National Championship. He views Miami as his best opportunity to achieve this goal. Florida fans please respect this," Caspino wrote. "I understand what the Florida collective is saying. Damage control. I get it. However, the FLA collective is run by inexperienced millennials. I deal with every collective in the country. Serious ventures call for serious leadership."

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