Yesterday, it was revealed that a former agent of Zion Williamson’s is alleging that the onetime Duke star accepted impermissible benefits.
According to Daniel Wallach, a gaming law and sports betting attorney and legal analyst at The Athletic, Gina Ford of Prime Sports Marketing, LLC is attempting to make Williamson answer under oath if his mother and stepfather received impermissible benefits from people “acting directly or indirectly acting on behalf of Duke and Nike to influence Williamson to attend Duke.” Ford also says Williamson’s mother and stepfather received illegal benefits from Adidas.
We’ll have to wait and see if this has any impact on Zion or the Duke program, but at least one media personality thinks we wouldn’t be reacting the same way if the NBA rookie sensation had played his college ball for John Calipari at Kentucky. ESPN’s Bomani Jones thinks there is a double standard at play.
On today’s edition of Highly Questionable, Jones said he does not believe the national media would be as ho-hum about these allegations if Zion suited up for Coach Cal in 2018-19.
“I do find it interesting though that yes, generally speaking, we are numb about the idea of college players getting paid,” Jones said. “However, are you telling me that if this were John Calipari involved in this same situation that we wouldn’t be here talking about this across the board? ‘Oh man, this doesn’t really matter.’ No. It wouldn’t be ‘All these guys get paid.’ It would be ‘We knew John Calipari paid players.’ That’s the way we do it.”
Jones likened this situation to the way analysts reacted to the practice of one-and-dones in college basketball. The response was not the same for Calipari and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“I do find it interesting that once it gets to Duke, when Duke decided they wanted to do one-and-done players, it was a change in the times. It wasn’t about distorting what basketball was, this is just what it is now,” Jones said. “So if people were to find out this happened with Duke, we would just say, ‘Oh well, this is just what it is now.'”
If Williamson was paid before or during his time at Duke, Jones doesn’t think he’ll admit it now.
“They’ve got themselves a situation now, they’re in this game together,” Jones told Dan Le Batard and Domonique Foxworth . “Zion is better off because he went to Duke and got the pub that came from going to Duke. He seemed to enjoy his experience. He’s not going to be the one that says anything about what happened while he was there.”