Paul Finebaum discusses Jaden Rashada situation, NIL on show

Paul Finebaum is the latest national college football personality to discuss the Jaden Rashada situation. On his nationally broadcast afternoon show, Finebaum brought on ESPN college football reporter Andrea Adelson to discuss why this is a bad look for Florida, NIL as a whole, and how we got to this point.

Rashada’s name will be synonymous with the Gators’ 2023 recruiting cycle for years to come. It all started in June of 2022 when Rashada chose Miami over the Orange and Blue. That prompted so much fan backlash that Billy Napier released an open letter urging the fanbase to exude patience. After that, a slew of four-star recruits committed to the Gators, giving Napier a top-10 class heading into the 2022 season.

In the fall, Rashada flipped his commitment to Florida and ended up signing his letter of intent on December 21, the first day of the early signing period. It should be noted that Napier’s early signing day press conference was pushed back from its original start time due to the staff waiting on Rashada’s letter of intent, which was delayed.

After participating in the All-American Bowl in Orlando, Rashada was expected to join the other early enrollees in Gainesville. He never arrived. Now, we’re in this debacle where a reported $13 million NIL deal fell through.

Here’s some of what Adelson had to say about the Rashada situation:

There was rumor and speculation he was getting an NIL deal from John Ruiz who’s the Miami super-booster. And then, a couple months pass, Gator fans are very upset. ‘What’s happening?’ Lots of back and forth on social media about Florida not being able to get Jaden Rashada into the mix. OK, couple months later, oh, look, he changes his commitment. Now he’s all in on Florida. Several weeks ago he’s at the Under Armour [All-America] game, he talks about how he can’t wait to get to campus, he’s so excited, he’s going to be a great player. And now he’s asking for his release from his Letter of Intent because his NIL deal reportedly fell through.

Here is some of what Finebaum had to say:

It is utterly bizarre. We shouldn’t be surprised at anything we see in college football, but just, this headline alone has me shaking my head.

In fairness to Billy Napier, probably the one story he didn’t need after a brutal bowl game, a terribly disappointing season. He finally got some wins in recruiting, and now this.

Overall, regardless of who is to blame for this entire situation, this is a bad look for Florida’s football program. Napier has done a lot of work to revamp the perception of the Gators’ recruiting operation, and this could completely flip the momentum of the last few months. Here’s to hoping that everything works out for the best and that we can eventually look back at this as a bump in the road.


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