The NBA season may be on hold, but the drama of the league is still raging high. Zion Williamson – former Duke Star and New Orleans Pelicans rookie – is under fire after being accused of receiving illegal benefits to attend Duke. Prime Sports Marketing is suing Williamson for $100M.
Throughout the last year, Williamson received accusations and suspicion surrounding fraudulent recruitment to Duke. Due to NCAA rules, colleges/universities are not allowed to offer any monetary incentives to join their athletic program. Schools can give scholarships based on athletic merit, but they cannot pay their athletes outside of that to attend their campus.
Gaming law and sports attorney Daniel Wallach claims Williamson received “money, benefits, favors or other things of value” to attend the Blue Devils basketball program. According to Wallach, the benefits requested for Williamson to “wear or use Nike or choose an Adidas-sponsored school.”
Zion Williamson signed a contract with Prime Sports Agency when he entered the NBA. However, he terminated the agreement just one month later. Now, Prime Sports is attempting to sue Williamson for damages above $100 million.
Williamson’s former agent is leading the charge, recently submitting a 100-page counterclaim in NC federal court.
Regardless of who is at fault, Williamson’s case reminds us that the NCAA has a long way to go as a system. If they allowed their athletes to profit off of their likeliness, situations like this would never arise.
Elite high school athletes want to make money coming out of college to support their families as well as themselves. The NCAA has made it difficult for student-athletes to make a living while dedicating countless hours to their sport in prior years. However, the NCAA recently announced that they plan to allow players to profit off the use of their name. Players will no longer have to go under-the-table to survive while playing their favorite sport.