Kirby Smart shares the first comments on the Jaden Rasada lawsuit, and what Georgia is getting at quarterback

It’s not often that you have to respond to one of your players filing a lawsuit against one of your rivals and fellow coaches.

However, that’s where Kirby Smart found himself Tuesday afternoon when he spoke to reporters at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s spring meetings in Destin, Florida.

On May 21, Georgia quarterback Jaden Rashadeh filed a lawsuit in the Pensacola Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida against Florida head coach Billy Napier, Florida backer Hugh Hathcock and former Florida NIL director Marcus Castro-Walker over a botched bid. Name, image and likeness deal.

Tuesday was Smart’s first public appearance since the lawsuit became public knowledge.

“I don’t really get involved in that,” Smart said. “This is outside my bubble, and I’m worried about what’s inside my bubble.”

Smart told reporters that Rashada informed him of the lawsuit on May 20, one day before it was filed. Neither Smart nor Georgia are named in the lawsuit.

“Jaden is a good football player. We knew Jaden when he came out,” Smart said. “He’s got a good body of work. His ability to make plays is really crucial at the quarterback position. He really played and he’s very talented. We are thrilled to have him join us and look forward to working with him.”

Napier also spoke to reporters on Tuesday, expressing satisfaction with his previous actions.

“I cannot comment on details due to the lawsuit,” Napier said. “But we are very confident in our legal team, very comfortable with my actions and very appreciative of the university’s support.”

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Rashada announced that he will transfer to Georgia in April. After graduating from high school, Rashadah committed to and signed with Napier and Florida. But as stated in the lawsuit, a number of promises made to Rasheeda were not kept.

In total, Rashada claims he and Florida agreed to a nothing deal worth $13.85 million. The lawsuit states that Rashada was promised payments of $500,000 and $1 million, yet Rashada received neither from various interested parties in Florida.

After signing with Florida, Rashada soon transferred to Arizona State. He started three matches for the Sun Devils last season, before entering the transfer portal in April.

Rashada is expected to compete for the backup quarterback job at Georgia this season, as Carson Beck is viewed as Georgia’s starting quarterback.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey also addressed the lawsuit when he spoke to reporters Monday evening.

“I’m not a fan of lawsuits,” Sankey said. “that what I think.”

Georgia and Florida are scheduled to play on the field this season, with the two teams meeting on November 2. Napier is 0-2 against Smart since being hired as head coach at Florida.

Kirby Smart speaks with Jaden Rashadeh, lawsuit

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