Chicago Bears rookie Gervon Dexter Sr. has taken legal action as he looks to avoid the possibility of having to pay more than $1 million in fines over a violation of an NIL (name, image, likeness) deal.
Per Keith Brockway of The Gainesville Sun, Dexter — who played college football for the Florida Gators’ — filed a lawsuit with the hope of nullifying the NIL deal he signed with a Delaware-based company.
Brockway added that Dexter’s attorneys are arguing that the contract is void because of several issues, including a violation of Florida’s NIL laws:
“Former Florida football defensive lineman Gervon Dexter Sr. has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Gainesville, contending a future earnings clause in a $436,485 Name, Image and Likeness deal he signed in May of 2022 violated state NIL laws.
Per terms of the deal that Dexter signed with Big League Advance Fund II LLC, a company based in Wilmington, Del., Dexter would forfeit 15 percent of his future NFL earnings for the next 25 years. Dexter signed the deal in May of 2022, before the start of his junior season and declared for the NFL Draft in December…
Dexter’s Tampa-based attorneys contend that the contract is void because it extended beyond the term of Dexter’s eligibility as a student-athlete, and that the agents representing Big League Advance Fund, Michael Schwimer and Scott McBrien, were not licensed in Florida. In addition, Big League Advance Fund failed to give Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin notice within 72 hours of the agreement, another violation of state NIL law.”
As noted by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Dexter would owe approximately $1 million to Big League Advanced Fund. The ex-Gators’ star signed a rookie deal with the Bears worth $6.72 million.
In 2021, the NCAA changed its policies which allows college athletes to make money through NIL deals. The NCAA had long faced criticism for not allowing athletes to receive pay, even though schools make millions through their athletic programs annually.
The 6-foot-6, 312-pound Dexter was drafted in the second round (53rd overall) by the Bears in April. In his final year of college football, the standout defensive tackle had two sacks, one interception and one pass defensed.
Dexter and the Bears will open its 2023 season with a home contest against the archrival Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field this Sunday.