Fox Rothschild LLP

Former Florida Gators star defensive lineman and current Chicago Bears rookie Gervon Dexter recently filed a federal lawsuit to void his agreement with name, image and likeness (NIL) group, Big League Advance.

The lawsuit stems from an NIL deal Dexter signed in 2022 that purportedly paid him $436,485 while he maintained his status as an NCAA Athlete. However, this agreement came with a catch: the NIL payments were in exchange for 15% of any future earnings or compensation he received as a professional athlete. Dexter executed the agreement less than 24 hours after receiving it from Big League Advance.

Dexter’s suit claims the agreement was "predatory" and violates Florida’s NIL and Athlete Agent laws.

This case serves as a cautionary tale to all college athletes who are considering NIL deals, which are becoming extraordinarily common.

Here are some key takeaways:

Understand the terms of these agreements and seek counsel from trusted legal advisors.

Before signing an NIL deal, it is crucial to understand the terms of the agreement. Make sure to read the contract carefully and seek legal advice. In addition to the compensation paid to the athlete, you should consult with attorneys who are experienced negotiating these agreements. They will review and negotiate important provisions including: (a) the length of the term; (b) the exclusivity clause; (c) deliverables requested by the brand; (d) requests to share in an athletes future income; (e) FCC compliance; (f) and compliance with school policies and state law.

Be aware of state laws and school policies

Each state has its own laws, and each school has its own policies regarding NIL deals. It is important to be aware of these laws and policies and ensure that the agreement complies with them.

Consider the long-term implications

NIL deals can provide immediate financial benefits, but it is important to consider the long-term implications. In Dexter's case, he signed a 25-year deal that would give Big League Advance 15% of his future professional earnings as a professional athlete. It is important to consider whether the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable.

In conclusion, Dexter’s NIL lawsuit serves as a warning to all college athletes who are considering such deals. It is important to understand the terms of the agreement, consult trusted advisers, be aware of state laws and consider the long-term implications.

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