NCAA Basketball, New Orleans Pelicans

Former advisor alleges Zion Williamson received improper benefits to attend Duke

Zion Williamson’s former marketing advisor alleges he received improper benefits to attend Duke University. What could this all mean for Duke and Zion?

Did Zion Williamson receive improper benefits to attend Duke University?

Well, his former marketing agent certainly thinks so. Gaming and sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach revealed a ton of allegations Williamson’s former marketing agent wants his former client to admit in a lawsuit.

Per Wallach’s information, Williamson’s former marketing agent wants Williamson to admit his mother, Sharonda Sampson and his step-father Lee Anderson, received improper benefits from their son’s recruitment to Duke.

His former marketing agent alleges Sampson and Anderson were influenced for their son to attend Duke University and were courted by both Nike and Adidas on their son’s college recruitment. Duke is a Nike school, so any previous relationship Williamson and his family had with Adidas ended once he committed to Duke University.

Williamson only played one year at Duke before turning pro. He helped the Blue Devils reach the Elite Eight in 2019 before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. Though his time in college basketball was short-lived, no player was more impactful for the sport since Kevin Durant played for the Texas Longhorns in 2006-07.

So what does this all mean for Duke? Could this impact head coach Mike Krzyzewski‘s legacy? If these allegations are true, then the Blue Devils may have to vacate all wins and accomplishments from Williamson’s short time in Durham. Duke could go on probation, possibly losing scholarships or having an NCAA Tournament ban. But what does this tell us really?

It signifies how corrupt college basketball truly is. Players are getting paid under the table all the time. The one-and-done rule has killed the sport’s national relevance. Though going to Duke helped Williamson go from a top-five pick to a No. 1 overall selection, he’s one of those players who could have gone from high school straight to the pros no problem.

If these allegations are true, maybe Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils get out of the one-and-done game entirely? Frankly, the NBA needs to eliminate the one-and-done rule and not view college basketball as the enemy anymore. They could work together like the NFL and college football do to help cultivate stars. Williamson is a star and deserved every penny he got to attend Duke.

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