Affidavit alleges Zion Williamson and his stepfather received a $400,000 payment before attending Duke University.
On Thursday, July 9th, 2020 the court battle between Zion Williamson and marketing agent Gina Ford took an interesting turn when Ford’s attorney’s released an affidavit accusing Williamson of receiving a large payment before attending Duke University. So in other words, a college athlete and his family took money under the table to go to a specific university. In other news, the Atlantic Ocean is full of salt water.
While the news of Williamson accepting money to attend Duke may not come as a surprise to many, it is still an interesting legal development in his suit against Ford. Ford is demanding $100 million after Williamson left her marketing agency and joined another agency. Williamson’s legal team argued that the document accusing Williamson and his stepfather of accepting money was a fraud and made up. Williamson’s legal team specifically references the supposed signatures of Williamson on the document, claiming them to be fraudulent. Ford’s legal team hopes that this accusation will damage Williamson’s character and therefore cause him to settle.
Williamson accepting a payment before playing in college would mean that Williamson was never eligible to play college basketball, according to rules by the NCAA regarding amateur status. Williamson sued Ford’s marketing agency and left them on the basis that the contract he signed with Ford was illegal according to North Carolina laws that protect amateur athletes. However, if Williamson and his family accepted the payment, he would no longer have been an amateur athlete at that point and no longer would be protected by the NC laws.
Unfortunately for Ford, this evidence might have been presented too late into the court process, as she had earlier opportunities to present evidence where she did not present this. This combined with the pressure mounted on Williamson after these claims, make it more likely that this case will get settled.
Lost in all of this is the betrayal and lack of support that Zion Williamson has received from a close family member. Instead of supporting his stepson, Zion’s stepfather has muddied the water and made things more difficult for Zion during his rookie NBA year. And people think Lavar Ball is bad for his sons.