Florida's Billy Napier on NIL: 'Every college football coach would tell you they're frustrated'

Florida Gators coach Billy Napier didn't get into specifics on why prized quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada asked out of his National Letter of Intent, but expressed frustration about the current state of college football recruiting in the Name, Image and Likeness era.

"Every college football coach would tell you they're frustrated," Napier said. "We're living in a fluid dynamic. There's a lot of good things about NIL, but I think the combination of the NIL and the portal creates a dynamic you have the bad things about the NFL but none of the good things.

"We're all aware of the issues and the parameters we're competing in at this point. I think as time goes the market will settle down."

Napier said he doesn't expect Florida to hear from the NCAA on Rashada's recruitment, which reportedly went south due to a botched NIL deal with the Gator Collective. Rashada, a top 60 national recruit and sixth-rated quarterback in the Class of 2023, signed with Arizona State on Wednesday.

NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from being involved in NIL deals.

"I wish we could get into specifics, but we're not allowed to," Napier said. "The reality is the current structure of NIL with third parties being involved, with agents being involved, with marketing representatives, with lawyers, with collectives, very fluid and I think a very unique dynamic.

"We're living in a time in college athletics that we'll look back upon. I think ultimately NIL is a strength for the Gators. We're very pleased with where we're at relative to our current players, all the athletes and what we've been able to accomplish in a short amount of time."

Florida head coach Billy Napier speaks during a news conference for the Las Vegas Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Dec.
Florida head coach Billy Napier speaks during a news conference for the Las Vegas Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Dec.  

Napier said he wasn't disappointed on a personal level in Rashada's decision to ask out of his LOI after the reported NIL deal evaporated. Rashada said at the Under Armour All-American game in early January he was looking forward to becoming a Gator.

"I still have the utmost respect for him and his family," Napier said.

Asked whether Rashada's recruitment has created a perception that Florida is not living up to its commitments in the NIL arena, Napier responded: "I can only speak on our current team, the current athletes that we have - not only in football but a lot of sports have benefitted. We have a ton of strengths in that area. We live in a state with 21 million people; we've got half a million living alumni; we're surrounded by huge markets. I think our players have benefitted from that." 

This article originally appeared on Gator Sports: Florida's Billy Napier frustrated by NIL in wake of Jaden Rashada saga


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