NCAA launches probe one year after Florida football signee's failed NIL deal: report

 The Florida Gators are the latest football program to fall under the purview of the NCAA.

According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, the NCAA launched an investigation in June when officials sent a formal investigative notice to University of Florida President Ben Sasse. Details of the investigation were not specified in the document.

In October, the Tampa Bay Times said the outlet "requested notice of any inquiries regarding potential violations related to name, image and likeness or recruiting."

The publication said its initial request was rejected. However, the request was fulfilled this week.

University officials released a statement expressing the football program's intentions to fully cooperate with the NCAA.

"We have been and will continue to cooperate with the NCAA," said University of Florida spokesman Steve McClain. "We hold ourselves to high standards of excellence and integrity on and off the field. Because we follow NCAA policies regarding maintaining confidentiality, we are unable to provide additional comments."

The advent of the NIL has drastically changed the college football recruiting landscape. The Florida football program made headlines last year when highly touted quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada and an eye-catching NIL involving third-party Gator Collective came to the fore.

Rashada initially committed to the Gators, but was later released from his letter of intent and went on to play at Arizona State. Rashada started a few games during his freshman season.

Last year, Florida football coach Billy Napier was asked if he expected to hear from officials regarding Rashada's status.

"We don't," Napier said in February 2022.

In 2020, the NCAA imposed a ban in a separate case. The program was placed on probation for one year for recruiting violations. Dan Mullen was the head coach of the Gators at the time the sentence was issued.

Elsewhere, Florida State recently faced sanctions after offensive coordinator Alex Atkins took up the possibility of transferring in a meeting. An unidentified booster, believed to be a member of the NIL collective, attended the meeting in question.

According to a proposal negotiated between the NCAA and Florida State, the football player was offered a large sum of money, which was presented as a recruiting inducement.

Fox News Digital contacted the University of Florida athletic department but did not immediately receive a response.

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