Darren Rovell firestorm after tweet about Xavier Restrepo injury

Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

National sports business reporter Darren Rovell set off a firestorm on Twitter by stating that Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Xavier Restrepo has a $40,000 deal with booster John Ruiz and life wallet. Rovell retweeted the report from Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald that Restrepo is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

Xavier Restrepo leads Miami with 11 receptions and 172 receiving yards and is tied for the team lead with one touchdown through the first two games of 2022. Restrepo is one of about 115 Miami athletes on the payroll of Ruiz’s companies Cigarette Racing and Life Wallet that agreed to NIL deals.

Rovell was roasted on Twitter by Miami fans following his retweet proclaiming that the injury has nothing to do with the NIL deal Restrepo signed with Ruiz. When questioned about why he didn’t mention other athletes with injuries from additional programs Rovell stated those NIL deals are not public.

Among those calling out Rovell, was former Miami Hurricanes and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Javier Salas. Salas asked and stated “What’s your point? The injury has nothing to do with his business opportunities.” The NCAA has stated that NIL deals cannot be tied to athletic performance.

Athletes are also not supposed to choose schools based on a specific NIL deal. It has been widely speculated that NIL deals have been tied to athletes signing national letters of intent and transferring to schools. The attention Ruiz has brought to Miami led to a reported meeting with the NCAA.

Next. Miami booster John Ruiz meets with NCAA. dark

Miami has been at the forefront of NIL deals largely because of Ruiz. The NIL deal for Restrepo will not be affected by his injury no matter how long he is out. Expect Brashard Smith to start in the slot for Miami with Restrepo out. Smith is second on Miami with six receptions and third with 65 receiving yards.