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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
    If Prime lied to Zion as you suggest (it does seem likely), they violated 78C-98(a)(1). Zion isn't asking for money in his suit. If I'm Ford, I would seriously consider just letting him out of the contract and walking away because I would not want to risk having sworn testimony in a civil matter that could later be used as evidence against me in a criminal prosecution. Also, there's the whole paying attorneys' fees vs. paying $0 to consider.
    Not to mention making this into a big deal and losing (or maybe even winning) isn't going to look good for her or Prime Sports when trying to sign other players. From a PR stand point it might be best to let this go and revisit your business practices to make sure you don't end up in this situation again. You're going to be hard pressed to get a court to get a court (judge or jury) to award a large settlement for breach of a less than week old contract on which no services were rendered. I get that Zion signed the contract but to me it is kind of like a coach letting a recruit out of his LOI when he wants to go somewhere else. Sure, technically he signed a contract with your school but are you really going to come out ahead by forcing him to play for you or making him sit out a year? Sometimes retreat is the better part of valor.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by yancem View Post
    Not to mention making this into a big deal and losing (or maybe even winning) isn't going to look good for her or Prime Sports when trying to sign other players. From a PR stand point it might be best to let this go and revisit your business practices to make sure you don't end up in this situation again. You're going to be hard pressed to get a court to get a court (judge or jury) to award a large settlement for breach of a less than week old contract on which no services were rendered. I get that Zion signed the contract but to me it is kind of like a coach letting a recruit out of his LOI when he wants to go somewhere else. Sure, technically he signed a contract with your school but are you really going to come out ahead by forcing him to play for you or making him sit out a year? Sometimes retreat is the better part of valor.
    Lessee... We have CAA, the world's largest entertainment and sports agency, going up against a "boutique firm." I expect that all the talk now is posturing for the settlement that Julio forecast on the Front Page of DBR. (A) It could be cash up front. (B) It could be a slice of the Zion business (a "carve-out," as it were). (C) It could be a slice of future cash flow. Or, (D), CAA could just acquire Prime Sports.

    I would be truly surprised if this goes to trial.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Lessee... We have CAA, the world's largest entertainment and sports agency, going up against a "boutique firm." I expect that all the talk now is posturing for the settlement that Julio forecast on the Front Page of DBR. (A) It could be cash up front. (B) It could be a slice of the Zion business (a "carve-out," as it were). (C) It could be a slice of future cash flow. Or, (D), CAA could just acquire Prime Sports.

    I would be truly surprised if this goes to trial.
    Really? It seems to me that Zion/CAA stands a pretty strong chance at trial...no way they give them an ongoing percentage. Maybe they settle, but only if they can settle for a reasonable cash amount. (D) seems least likely, as it would be more expensive than (A) with no apparent benefit.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Honolulu
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Lessee... We have CAA, the world's largest entertainment and sports agency, going up against a "boutique firm." I expect that all the talk now is posturing for the settlement that Julio forecast on the Front Page of DBR. (A) It could be cash up front. (B) It could be a slice of the Zion business (a "carve-out," as it were). (C) It could be a slice of future cash flow. Or, (D), CAA could just acquire Prime Sports.

    I would be truly surprised if this goes to trial.
    Setting aside settlement, which is almost always the most likely outcome in civil litigation, I would be shocked if this went to trial simply because I don't see how Prime/Ford would survive summary judgment. They might not even survive a motion for judgment on the pleadings.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by JetpackJesus View Post
    Setting aside settlement, which is almost always the most likely outcome in civil litigation, I would be shocked if this went to trial simply because I don't see how Prime/Ford would survive summary judgment. They might not even survive a motion for judgment on the pleadings.
    Will they survive the first legal bill?

    Of course, the $100 mil demand smacks of contingent fee, which lowers this case down a level in Dante's inferno. CAA could surely cry "Havoc" and let slip the dogs of war. How many contracts has Prime presented for signature without the required prominent disclaimer? How many North Carolina athletes have they approached - hmm, a discovery request should handled that nicely: expense reports, business credit card statements, phone records. The first settlement conference should be a LOT of fun for CAA.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Minor update with Zion's team filing amendments to the original suit to now include early recruitment violations.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Minor update with Zion's team filing amendments to the original suit to now include early recruitment violations.
    Doesnít seem so minor to me.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Doesn’t seem so minor to me.
    Removing my Duke tinted glasses and looking at all the angles objectively. I wondered if prior to this, that this issue could peel back and reveal some sketchy circumstances. And I’m not talking about Ford. CAA should have vetted and known about this prior to their announced signing. It’s clear they didn’t. Otherwise, they would have dealt with this behind the scenes prior. On the flip side, it’s clear Ford waited until after the announcement — had probably been brushed off by the family — and upped the PR opportunity by putting a lawsuit in motion soon after the CAA signing. This idea about predatory behavior and being told not to contact the player during the season is bunk (a smokescreen). Players have access to university legal consultation and also have protocols in place so that if there is an agent soliciting; they can be protected along with the university. What should be concerning to everyone is that now the legal team is trying to get out of a signed contract by invoking a technicality only applicable in certain state under the classification that when signed the athlete was under amateur status, aka NCAA athlete. Even more bizarre — is the judgment that the athlete signed such a contract with an unknown firm and not announcing it like they did once signed with CAA. This wasn’t Cush’s dad signing with Bob Sugar behind Jerry’s back. Though I’d like to believe and truly hope this gets resolved by clearing up a misunderstanding. Let’s get real here. He was a known #1 recruit with the biggest implied marketing value of any athlete since LeBron, even bigger in the modern social media age. And the player/family happens to just, oh by the way, sign with an unknown representative, not announce it, then sign with the biggest agency (and agents) in the world... that is a major red flag. Now hundreds of millions are at stake and the lawyers are sharpening their knives and it’s going to get very messy. I read where people think this will be a quick settlement and the other party should just cut their losses and walk away to save their reputation. I hope so but this could easily go the other way, and more sketchy things are revealed. Ultimately CAA and Nike will be protected, the other firm will be protected, and the player will be protected. My question is, will the program be protected?

  9. #29
    IMO, signing a contract and then trying to get out of your commitment, is not a good look. Hopefully, the residents of Zionville will learn from their mistake(s) and not do this repeatedly.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    IMO, signing a contract and then trying to get out of your commitment, is not a good look. Hopefully, the residents of Zionville will learn from their mistake(s) and not do this repeatedly.
    Zion = extraordinary athlete, phenomenal personality, potential generational talent.

    Zion = horrible business man, atrocious legal decision maker.

    His business acumen is akin to Kyrie's leadership.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Correct side of the Durham/CH border
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Zion = extraordinary athlete, phenomenal personality, potential generational talent.

    Zion = horrible business man, atrocious legal decision maker.

    His business acumen is akin to Kyrie's leadership
    .
    This seems harsh at best. He just turned 19... and was 18 when this all went down. With people coming at him from every angle. What kind of business person is anyone at 18? He made a gnarly error trusting someone who it seems was looking to score big rather than worry about the life/career of a young man. I suspect it will get worked out. Letís not pile on the kid. Thatís not fair. His parents? That might be a different conversation.
    ďCoach said no 3s.Ē - Zion on The Block

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Zion = extraordinary athlete, phenomenal personality, potential generational talent.

    Zion = horrible business man, atrocious legal decision maker.

    His business acumen is akin to Kyrie's leadership.
    I think the point here is that, at the age of 18, he should NOT be making ANY business or legal decisions. The first thing his "team" (i.e,, his parents, Duke, hanger-ons, etc) should have done is find the smartest, most experienced and most ethical lawyer, accountant, agent, investment advisor, et al to represent him before he even considers signing any document, entering into any contracts, endorsing any products or even earns one penny as a basketball player.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by duke79 View Post
    I think the point here is that, at the age of 18, he should NOT be making ANY business or legal decisions. The first thing his "team" (i.e,, his parents, Duke, hanger-ons, etc) should have done is find the smartest, most experienced and most ethical lawyer, accountant, agent, investment advisor, et al to represent him before he even considers signing any document, entering into any contracts, endorsing any products or even earns one penny as a basketball player.
    Well, wasn't the initial plan for his step-dad and a family friend to form a sports agency for the purpose of promoting Zion. This fell apart when the family friend failed the sports agent test. Hmmm... I think this was an idiotic idea, but you can understand there may have been some family dynamics at play beyond Zion's ability to understand and control..

    Then, it seems like they panicked and signed with the Florida agent.

    Somewhere along the line, cooler heads prevailed and Zion signed with CAA, but the damage was done. Now it's being undone.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Well, wasn't the initial plan for his step-dad and a family friend to form a sports agency for the purpose of promoting Zion. This fell apart when the family friend failed the sports agent test. Hmmm... I think this was an idiotic idea, but you can understand there may have been some family dynamics at play beyond Zion's ability to understand and control..

    Then, it seems like they panicked and signed with the Florida agent.

    Somewhere along the line, cooler heads prevailed and Zion signed with CAA, but the damage was done. Now it's being undone.
    Didn't help that family friend happened to be little Tommy Callahan...


  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Honolulu
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    IMO, signing a contract and then trying to get out of your commitment, is not a good look. Hopefully, the residents of Zionville will learn from their mistake(s) and not do this repeatedly.
    Tricking teenagers (and their families) into signing illegal, unenforceable contracts is a much worse look, IMO. Being a superior athlete doesn't mean you or your family are good at business or understanding contracts or the law. The Uniform Athlete Agents Act exists in most states, including NC and FL, for a reason. That said, I share your hope that future athletes learn from his mistakes.

    Zion's latest allegations are significant because the UAAA only applies to "Student Athletes" who are engaged in, eligible to engage in, or may be eligible in the future to engage in intercollegiate sports. Zion maintained college eligibility until May 29, even after he declared for the draft. He signed with Prime before that date, so he was still a "Student Athlete." Ford is trying to argue that Zion was no longer eligible when she recruited him, so the law doesn't apply. If she approached while he was still playing for Duke, as Zion's latest allegations say, then the UAAA unequivocally applies.

    At the risk of rehashing all my earlier posts on this subject, the contract is void and/or voidable under both the NC and FL UAAA statutes because: (1) Ford apparently was not registered in NC (and possibly FL) as an agent and initiated the contact with Zion (in NC, importantly), making it void and unenforceable as a matter of law and (2) the contract, which is attached to Zion's complaint, does not contain the eligibility disclosure near the signature line that is required by both the NC and FL statutes; therefore, Zion has the option under both statutes to void the contract, which he has done. Most news stories on this subject focus on the first issue as being the crux of Zion's case for some reason, but I think that's wrong because#2 means you don't even need to address #1.

    Ford's only hope is to establish that she engaged Zion after he no longer had any college eligibility, which would mean the UAAA doesn't apply. If he was still eligible when she began recruiting him, then the UAAA applies, and the contract is void/voidable and unenforceable.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    An update on this situation from SI. Some of the lawyers on our board are probably better equipped to provide a summary and perspective. The new developments begin about a third of the way in with the following paragraph:

    "The Williamson-Ford litigation appears nowhere near resolution. This hazy state of affairs was reaffirmed in a recent ruling by Florida Circuit Court Judge David Miller. On Dec. 16, Judge Miller presided over a hearing held at Miami-Dade County Courthouse. It involved attorneys for both sides and centered on Williamsonís motion to dismiss Fordís lawsuit.'

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    An update on this situation from SI. Some of the lawyers on our board are probably better equipped to provide a summary and perspective. The new developments begin about a third of the way in with the following paragraph:

    "The Williamson-Ford litigation appears nowhere near resolution. This hazy state of affairs was reaffirmed in a recent ruling by Florida Circuit Court Judge David Miller. On Dec. 16, Judge Miller presided over a hearing held at Miami-Dade County Courthouse. It involved attorneys for both sides and centered on Williamson’s motion to dismiss Ford’s lawsuit.'
    I am not a lawyer, although I am reviewing scripts for legal roles in the stream-o-verse. Nothing has happened in the Zion case -- this is just a motion to dismiss in Florida, where the original agent, Gina Ford of Prime Sports Marketing, is based, and the judge is still considering.

    By the way Wendell's Mom, Kylia Carter, gets savaged by some on these boards for her use of the term "slavery" in connection with NCAA hoops, but Zion's step-dad and mom have likely done serious damage to his finances. I mean, basketball is the number two world-wide sport. Zion is among the most famous hoops players on the planet, and he is only 19 years old. This stumbling set of missteps could cost him tens of millions of dollars in damages plus loss of revenue as endorsement deals get hung up.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  18. #38
    What sort of role can/should Duke have played in this? Can the basketball staff provide advice, especially around agents and such after these kids declare or use up their eligibility? I can see the potential pitfalls, but having some more sophisticated people in the room could surely help these kids and their families from making bad decisions like this.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by JayZee View Post
    What sort of role can/should Duke have played in this? Can the basketball staff provide advice, especially around agents and such after these kids declare or use up their eligibility? I can see the potential pitfalls, but having some more sophisticated people in the room could surely help these kids and their families from making bad decisions like this.
    I don't know about the staff but you'd think the "Brotherhood" network has enough guys that have navigated similar circumstances that Zion and family could have had good advice if they wanted it (and they very well may have, I obviously have no idea).

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    By the way Wendell's Mom, Kylia Carter, gets savaged by some on these boards for her use of the term "slavery" in connection with NCAA hoops, but Zion's step-dad and mom have likely done serious damage to his finances. I mean, basketball is the number two world-wide sport. Zion is among the most famous hoops players on the planet, and he is only 19 years old. This stumbling set of missteps could cost him tens of millions of dollars in damages plus loss of revenue as endorsement deals get hung up.
    Slavery is in no way akin to bad business decisions or voluntary, rules-based associations.

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