Zion Williamson dragged into scandal

Cash for everybody

Popular porn star lawyer Michael Avenatti is in the midst of a Twitter tirade as he is known to do. Generally he tweets things everybody knows, but he recently went after the royalty that is Duke basketball.

Avenatti is on a mission to take down Nike after the company did not pay him the $20 million he wanted. Instead, the company called him on extortion, leading to his arrest. It seems pretty clear Avenatti has some dirt on Nike, and he’s a pretty fascinating follow on Twitter.

On Friday night, Avenatti alleged Zion Williamson’s mother received money from Nike for bogus “consulting services” as part of a Nike bribe to get him to go to Duke.

This would sure make a lot of sense. The idea Duke players are not receiving money but everybody else is taking cash is crazy. You have to be the Dukiest of Duke fans to believe this. For this to happen, you have to think all of the best high school basketball players in the country are turning down thousands of dollars to join “the brotherhood” at Duke.

The wire tap

Before this season started, the FBI recorded an Adidas employee and Kansas assistant coach talking Zion. The Adidas fella told the Kansas fella that Zion’s father wanted job opportunities, cash and housing for the family. Here is the Kansas assistant’s response.

“I’ve got to just try to work and figure out a way because if that’s what it takes to get him here for 10 months, we’re going to have to do it some way.”

Are we really supposed to think Zion and his family no longer wanted all that and instead decided to play for Duke for free? No brotherhood is worth that much.

If you were offered tons of money, housing and occupational opportunities for the family to do whatever your job is, would you turn it down to instead work for free? Of course not.

One bad jury

But you cannot blame Zion here if the accusations are true. The NCAA created this underground market that is uncontrollable. Luckily for them, a precedent was set that violating NCAA rules now means they violated the law, which is insane.

Last October, prosecutors convicted three people for paying basketball player Brian Bowen’s family for him to sign with Louisville. Basically the lawyers convinced the jury that schools are the victims in this scandal.

You read that correctly.

The organizations that receive tons of money from these athletes were the victims. That jury really screwed this up and makes for quite a mess moving forward.

The schools make the money, and players who take money take a massive pay cut. No matter what Zion received from Nike, he is worth more on the open market.

The most exciting story of the season is just the latest caught up in the FBI scandal, not the last. Colleges, shoe companies, coaches and others will have to be more creative in how they pay athletes. With such a demand for high-level college basketball players, there is no end.

We’ll do this again next year.

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