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NIL: Florida disaster shows guardrails desperately needed

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You might have heard the name Jaden Rashada. He is the poster boy for what not to do in the world of NIL.

Rashada, a highly-rated quarterback from California, committed to Miami and was believed to have reached a Name Image and Likeness agreement with the Hurricanes’ collective or the school’s primary booster.

But soon, Rashad bolted for Florida, apparently getting a better deal to the tune of $13 million.

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But then, the Florida collective told Rashada and his family they couldn’t come up with the money.

So Rashada asked for and received a release from his National Letter of Intent.

He is now a free agent again.

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That’s a black eye for Florida and the Florida collective.

It also underscores the need for a school and its collective to communicate.

I asked Tennessee athletics director Danny White about the importance of a school and a collective to be on the same page.

“I think we need guardrails,” White said during an interview on SportsTalk WNML radio. “We need rules. We’ve been given some interim guidelines on what is acceptable and what isn’t. And as I talk to my peers around the country, I don’t know that anybody knows exactly what the rules are.

“So it’s a difficult environment to operate in now.”

NIL and collectives were designed to allow college student-athletes to make money off name, image and likeness for services rendered.

You couldn’t get paid $1 million unless you make public appearances, signed autographs or pitched a product. You had to “earn” the money.

But as many of us predicted, NIL has become a recruiting tool.

If you didn’t see that coming, you had your head in the sand.

The NCAA was slow to react to NIL, but I’m not sure what guardrails the NCAA could have imposed that would have stood up to a legal challenge.

The NCAA for years has asked for help from Congress, which doesn’t seem interested in providing an assist.

But without federal laws, the NIL will continue to function as the wild, wild west.

“I look forward to a day, in hopefully the not-so-distance future, where we have better direction on what’s appropriate and what’s not,” White said.

Don’t hold your breath.

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