Miami commit Jaden Rashada refuted a report linking him to a $9.5 million name, image and likeness deal with Hurricanes booster John Ruiz.
"Any report regarding my commitment to the University of Miami is false unless I was interviewed directly," Rashada said Monday. "All reports of my decision involving a NIL deal is inaccurate. I would never make a life/career choice for any monetary value."
On3's Jeremy Crabtree reported Sunday the 4-star quarterback had secured a seven-figure NIL endorsement and declined an $11 million deal provided by Florida's Gator Collective.
Crabtree's story prompted a quick response from Gator Collective, which aimed its criticism at comments from NIL lawyer Michael W. Caspino. Caspino told Crabtree that Rashada "left millions on the table" and "did not pick the highest offer."
Ruiz also said the story was "inaccurate" and that Rashada hadn't been a topic of conversation between him and Caspino before:
John H. Ruiz, Attorney at Law @JohnHRuiz
The report by <a href="https://t.co/QAEr6VfrG1">https://t.co/QAEr6VfrG1</a> is inaccurate as it relates to Jaden Rashada.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.
In general, the story has encapsulated the Wild West nature of the NIL landscape right now.
Rashada is the No. 7 quarterback and No. 45 overall player in 247Sports' composite rankings for the 2023 class. The Pittsburg, California, native hasn't played a down of college football yet, and he might stand to earn close to $10 million.
That is, of course, if Rashada actually signed for $9.5 million. Nobody can be too sure right now because the full details of NIL deals don't have to be disclosed to the public.
Alex Kirshner @alex_kirshner
Anyone claiming to be an "NIL attorney" is a 🚩🚩🚩.<br><br>This world didn't exist a year ago, they know as much as the rest of us do (read: not a thing) about how NCAA enforcement's game of pin the tail on the donkey will go, and they inevitably write weird posts and sound seedy
Boosters and collectives arguably have an incentive to inflate NIL numbers because it sends a message to both the competition and prospective recruits.
There's also the small matter of NCAA compliance since schools are prohibited from using endorsements as an inducement for an athlete to sign. Caspino's comments to Crabtree might not have gone unnoticed by compliance officers.
Darren Heitner @DarrenHeitner
Lawyer Michael Caspino just went on record, admitting to an NCAA violation. If he took an <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NIL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NIL</a> deal, lesser or not, by picking the Hurricanes, then that’s a violation no matter what his contract states. <a href="https://t.co/VWD4zN2lLp">pic.twitter.com/VWD4zN2lLp</a>
In addition to his response Sunday, Ruiz told the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson on Monday any NIL discussions began after Rashada committed to Miami.
"After he committed, an agent reached out and we are discussing a deal," Ruiz said. "Jaden is an amazing kid."
The last thing Miami needs as it looks to return to prominence under head coach Mario Cristobal is the specter of another investigation, which has plagued the program in the past.
Situations like this were inevitable when the NCAA ushered in the NIL with little in the way of guardrails or a framework that encompassed the entire country. Until the market corrects itself, blue-chip recruits like Rashada have to be careful to secure the bag while maintaining their NCAA eligibility.