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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I can't read "the doubt in your mind," but I disagree. Zion's family could easily borrow money until his professional earnings began. Duke gives families a lot of advice on such matters. And BTW doesn't North Carolina law make these criminal matters?
    And we can disagree.

    Loans do make sense, but I assume banks slap a very, very unhealthy interest rate. And those loans are probably challenging to get. Why get a loan when you can just get a payment that is very difficult to trace (and I'm assuming it's difficult or else we'd see a lot more players/coaches get implicated).

    This is a sport funded with billions where everyone gets a slice except for players. And because of these pressures, the top players do get compensated (and no, I do not think 1 year of college is payment enough).
    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

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    raleigh
    can't he just return the jewlery?
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  3. #43
    Daniel Wallach is a lawyer and writes for The Athletic. He has had a number of enlightening comments about this whole situation on twitter. The following tweet seemed important to note:

    Zion Williamson will NOT have to answer those requests for admission or interrogatories. At least not for several months. They were filed in a Florida lawsuit that is on hold against him while he challenges personal jurisdiction on appeal. He’s under no obligation to answer them.
    https://twitter.com/WALLACHLEGAL/sta...70205427277824

    And the follow up:

    Of course, Gina Ford will eventually serve the same requests in the North Carolina federal lawsuit - but only after the parties have had their initial scheduling conference. And then she won’t be allowed to file them publicly. And relevance will be decided by a NC judge.
    https://twitter.com/WALLACHLEGAL/sta...77509732151297

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Daniel Wallach is a lawyer and writes for The Athletic. He has had a number of enlightening comments about this whole situation on twitter. The following tweet seemed important to note:



    https://twitter.com/WALLACHLEGAL/sta...70205427277824

    And the follow up:



    https://twitter.com/WALLACHLEGAL/sta...77509732151297
    You comments make sense to me. Any other interpretation, it would seem, indicates any lawyer could ask any question they wish and the weight of law would force an answer.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    And we can disagree.

    Loans do make sense, but I assume banks slap a very, very unhealthy interest rate. And those loans are probably challenging to get. Why get a loan when you can just get a payment that is very difficult to trace (and I'm assuming it's difficult or else we'd see a lot more players/coaches get implicated).

    This is a sport funded with billions where everyone gets a slice except for players. And because of these pressures, the top players do get compensated (and no, I do not think 1 year of college is payment enough).
    You mean, aside from the fact that it is illegal, immoral and unethical?
    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

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    And we can disagree.

    Loans do make sense, but I assume banks slap a very, very unhealthy interest rate. And those loans are probably challenging to get. Why get a loan when you can just get a payment that is very difficult to trace (and I'm assuming it's difficult or else we'd see a lot more players/coaches get implicated).

    This is a sport funded with billions where everyone gets a slice except for players. And because of these pressures, the top players do get compensated (and no, I do not think 1 year of college is payment enough).
    I agree players should get paid - or at least be able to earn money.

    Having said that, I will be extremely disappointed if Zion or other Duke players are shown to have accepted money. It's illegal and cheating, plain and simple.

    Marijuana isn't legal in NC. Even if I think that law is unjust, if I get busted for possession, feeling self-righteous won't help me out at all, I'll be in big trouble.

    I have high expectations. I want our favorite basketball program to follow the letter and intent of the rules until the rules change.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    It's hard to take your question seriously. To start, Ford's agency is not a sports agency. It's an advertising and marketing agency. Second, is it all that hard to see how an 18 year-old kid and his parents could be swindled by someone looking to make a buck off of the teenager? It's not like Zion or his parents are seasoned veterans of contract law.
    Zion is not your typical 18 year old. You can tell in his interviews he is intelligent and carries himself with a "big picture" mindset much like a young Kobe or Lebron did. Zion was "the show" in college ball last year. Everyone wanted, and still wants, a piece of him and he always carried himself with integrity and careful molding of his future brand by choosing his words and actions carefully.

    With all that said it just seems odd he would've jumped at the first low tier agency that tried to do business with him.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    ... This reads a lot like a situation in which someone that was praying on Zion and his family was found out when he and his family was put in touch with an agency that really knew what it was doing.

    ...
    Sadly, I don't think anybody was "praying" on Zion. It seems they were likely preying on him, instead.
    "We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world." --M. Proust

  9. #49
    This is going well...

    Read this to see the worst but also most obvious take, if you dare.

  10. #50
    The fact that the person/agency suing Zion is represented by Willie Gary and his law firm told me all I needed to know about this case.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Daniel Wallach is a lawyer and writes for The Athletic. He has had a number of enlightening comments about this whole situation on twitter. The following tweet seemed important to note: https://twitter.com/WALLACHLEGAL/sta...70205427277824

    And the follow up: https://twitter.com/WALLACHLEGAL/sta...77509732151297
    I've waded through the 100+ page Answer and Counterclaim that Ford and her agency, Prime Sports filed last week in the North Carolina case,
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oFu...1-8kRCegT/view

    and it does seem consistent with Dana O'Neil's reporting of the admission from Ford's attorney that the explosive nature of the assertions implied by the Requests for Admissions and Interrogatories served in the Florida case is, at this point, fishing (per the quote she published from the lawyer, "We have ideas, opinions and some leads of our own [and] are looking for information to support our case").

    Here is the gist of what is actually alleged in Prime Sports' Answer and Counterclaim:

    1. They deny "coming to North Carolina" seeking to sign Zion "beginning in or about early January 2019" or "initiating contact" with Zion or his family at that time. (Answer Para. 1)
    2. They deny that Zion was a "student-athlete" as of Jan. 2019 (Answer Para. 2) [these first two denials are important given the Louisiana suit against Prime Sports seeking a finder's fee, discussed further below.]
    3. "In or about before January 2019," Zion "with the support and advice of" his mother and step-father "started their "strategic and analytical assessment" of marketing agents. (Counterclaim Para. 15) [further references to paragraphs are to the Counterclaim.]
    4. Zion and his parents "strategically began to research" marketing firms and agents. (Para. 17.)
    5. Prime Sports is "informed and believes" [i.e., they think but don't really have evidence of it] that after being injured in the Carolina game, Zion determined he was definitely going to go pro and not come back and only finished the season "out of loyalty" to the team. (Paras. 19-20.)
    6. Zion declared for the draft April 15, 2019 and did not intend to return. (Para. 21.)
    7. On March 13, 2019, the NCAA issued guidelines about how someone could test the waters, sign with an approved agent and remain eligible to return. Duke, "consistent with the spirit and intent" of those Guidelines, "provided..., instructed... and explained them" to Zion. (Paras. 25, 26, and 28.)
    8. At some undefined time "before April 20, 2019," Zion engaged in "conduct rendering him ineligible to be or remain a student-athlete" under those Guidelines, "including but not limited to": (a) agreeing ... to be represented by a non-NCAA certified" agent/marketing company [i.e., Ford's company]; (b) "accept[ing] benefits from" someone "other than an NCAA-certified agent"; and (c) entering the draft without taking "appropriate steps to withdraw and declare an intent to return." (Para. 29)
    9. "From prior to April 15, 2019 and continuing to April 20, 2019," Zion "was not a student-athlete." (Para. 30)
    10. "On or about April 19, 2019," Zion and his mother and step-father "invited Ford" to come to negotiate a marketing/branding consulting contract. (Para. 34).
    11. On April 20, 2019, Zion and Prime Sports entered the contract. "Upon entering the contract, [Zion] and/or [his parents\ demanded an immediate contractual advance" of $100,000, which Prime Sports paid. (Para. 36).
    12. Prime Sports undertook various efforts on Zion's behalf re: marketing/endorsement contracts after April 20, 2019, and thereafter CAA induced Zion to breach the contract (the rest of the Counterclaim).

    So, my takeaway is:

    1. No specific allegation of Zion having received any payment from anyone that would have rendered him "ineligible" to be a "student-athlete" at any time prior to Prime Sports signing him and paying $100k to he and/or his parents on April 20, 2019 -- i.e., (i) no allegation of any payment inducing him to come to Duke and (ii) no specific allegation of him receiving any improper payment while at Duke prior to declaring for the Draft on April 15.

    2. The closest this comes to alleging Zion was ineligible before April 15 is the denial (in Para. 1 of the Answer) of Zion's allegation in the initial suit that he was eligible as of Jan. 2019; and the vague, generalized, allegations in Paras. 27 and 30 of the Counterclaim that he was not a student-athlete "from prior to April 15, 2019" and that he had taken money from someone at an undefined time "before April 20."

    3. Wallach's interpretation of the service of the scattershot discovery requests aimed at eliciting information that Zion or his family had received money earlier (plus the, it appears to me unnecessary and perhaps improper filing of them on the public record in the Florida case purposefully so they would be publicized -- I'll defer to Stray Gator or other Florida lawyers on this, but the way I read Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.280(g) and 1.340, these discovery requests were not required to be filed unless and until an answer to one of them became relevant to some motion, which doesn't appear to have happened yet), as (i) a "hail mary" by Prime Sports and (ii) a tactic aimed at inducing pressure on Zion to settle, seem correct, particularly in light of O'Neil's quote from the lawyer.

    Wallach also alludes to the importance of Ford's denial of a January 2019 meeting by reference to a suit filed in Louisiana against Prime Sports by Cedrique Johnson claiming a 5% finder's fee.

    That complaint, available at, https://www.law360.com/articles/1264908/attachments/0 alleges that:

    1. Johnson "established a friendship" and "relationship" with Zion and his family while he was in high school, which "continued" while Zion was a Duke -- but, notably, does not allege Johnson paid Zion or his family any money (Paras. 13, 14).
    2. In Nov. 2018, Johnson was "introduced" to Ford/Prime Sports and they agreed to an 8% finder's fee (later reduced to 5%) (Paras. 15-17)
    3. In January 2019, Zion's "mother and step-father had a meeting with Johnson and Ford to discuss potential" marketing/branding/endorsement opportunities, but there is no allegation of any money changing hands (Para. 18.)
    4. After Zion declared for the Draft, there were subsequent meetings resulting in Zion signing with Ford/Prime Sports, entitling Johnson to the 5% fee. (Para. 42.)

    So, it is interesting here that there is no allegation of any improper payment to Zion in Jan. 2019 nor any allegation of any payment until after he declared for the draft and signed with Prime Sports.

    But, my understanding is that Ford would have violated the UAAA to have participated in the January 2019 meeting -- though, I caution, I'm not an expert on that statute and defer to others who are

  12. #52
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    This is going well...

    Read this to see the worst but also most obvious take, if you dare.
    This is what I was dreading. Obviously as Duke fans we're all accustomed to a certain amount of "Duke hate" (they actually replayed the "I Still Hate Christian Laettner" 30 for 30 up here in Canada a few days ago, haha), but that doesn't mean it's any fun. And, to be frank, it's easier to deal with when it's rational: if you hate us because we're good, so be it. But it bugs me when stories that would otherwise be nothing "blow up" because the name Duke is attached.

    Case and point... remember in early April (man does that seem like a lifetime ago, even though it was just a month!) when there was some new reporting on the toxic culture at Michigan State that involved allegations of Tom Izzo acting to try to cover up sexual assault? No? Well, neither do most basketball fans, since the story fizzled and died quickly. I would argue the facts are MUCH more substantive in the MSU case (and the crimes at play MUCH more odious), but there was no outrage. But Duke, Zion, and Coach K will have their names dragged through the mud for at least a full news cycle because of this now.

    Unless something substantive and proven comes out of this, obviously it will blow over. But it doesn't make it any less frustrating to deal with in the moment.
    Scott Rich on the front page

    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
    Duke Chronicle, Sports Online Editor: 2010-2012
    K-Ville Blue Tenting 2009-2012

    Unofficial Brian Zoubek Biographer
    If you have questions about Michigan Basketball/Football, I'm your man!

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    Sadly, I don't think anybody was "praying" on Zion.
    I certainly was after that Shoepocalypse at the top of the key in Cameron.
    Carolina delenda est

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I agree players should get paid - or at least be able to earn money.

    Having said that, I will be extremely disappointed if Zion or other Duke players are shown to have accepted money. It's illegal and cheating, plain and simple.

    Marijuana isn't legal in NC. Even if I think that law is unjust, if I get busted for possession, feeling self-righteous won't help me out at all, I'll be in big trouble.

    I have high expectations. I want our favorite basketball program to follow the letter and intent of the rules until the rules change.
    Again, i find this attitude to be the proverbial “ head in the sand” take on the current environment.
    Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Nolan Smith, JJ Redick Kyle Singler...those days are gone. For instance, are you unaware of the suspicions that surrounded the alleged Nike $ involvement in the Bagley recruitment? And his 11th hour change of heart.
    So hopefully Duke boosters are not involved. Having said that, look at the competition for ‘21 Jonathan Kuminga, who many have penciled in as the centerpiece of our next recruiting class. It’s Auburn, Memphis Kentucky; actually practically the entire ( strong a_s offer) SEC.
    Doesn’t that speak volumes about what that kid’s handlers are looking for? Good Lord, it’s all in plain sight if one is not blind.

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    This is what I was dreading. Obviously as Duke fans we're all accustomed to a certain amount of "Duke hate" (they actually replayed the "I Still Hate Christian Laettner" 30 for 30 up here in Canada a few days ago, haha), but that doesn't mean it's any fun. And, to be frank, it's easier to deal with when it's rational: if you hate us because we're good, so be it. But it bugs me when stories that would otherwise be nothing "blow up" because the name Duke is attached.

    Case and point... remember in early April (man does that seem like a lifetime ago, even though it was just a month!) when there was some new reporting on the toxic culture at Michigan State that involved allegations of Tom Izzo acting to try to cover up sexual assault? No? Well, neither do most basketball fans, since the story fizzled and died quickly. I would argue the facts are MUCH more substantive in the MSU case (and the crimes at play MUCH more odious), but there was no outrage. But Duke, Zion, and Coach K will have their names dragged through the mud for at least a full news cycle because of this now.

    Unless something substantive and proven comes out of this, obviously it will blow over. But it doesn't make it any less frustrating to deal with in the moment.
    I also don't understand the writer's point. He's claiming that he thinks Duke and Coach K need to be taken down a peg. I mean, I'm all for treating Duke equally to other schools. In fact, every little thing that Coach K says and does is taken way out of context. But he's singling Coach K out in doing so. If he really wanted Duke and K to not be so popular or not be so much of a story, he wouldn't even write the hit piece. And it's not like Duke or Coach K have even come out with a statement to nitpick or twist out of proportion. There are no quotes. It's all - "He's a hypocrite and I hate his guts!" pure id and bile. It's pathological. And the worst part is that Duke and Coach K aren't going away. Duke is popular. Coach K is a huge name in the industry. Writing a piece like this defeats the central premise, that Duke should be less of a focus.

    In other words, he has his next blog post written and is ready to publish as soon as Duke and Coach K are back in the news again. All because he thinks Duke and Coach K get too much attention...

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by BobBender View Post
    Again, i find this attitude to be the proverbial “ head in the sand” take on the current environment.
    Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Nolan Smith, JJ Redick Kyle Singler...those days are gone. For instance, are you unaware of the suspicions that surrounded the alleged Nike $ involvement in the Bagley recruitment? And his 11th hour change of heart.
    So hopefully Duke boosters are not involved. Having said that, look at the competition for ‘21 Jonathan Kuminga, who many have penciled in as the centerpiece of our next recruiting class. It’s Auburn, Memphis Kentucky; actually practically the entire ( strong a_s offer) SEC.
    Doesn’t that speak volumes about what that kid’s handlers are looking for? Good Lord, it’s all in plain sight if one is not blind.
    Yeah, maybe. I'm not a Pollyanna, my glass isn't half full, I'm not blind but I'm not willing to think the worst of a kid and his family based on limited, maybe zero, evidence, that the kid, his handlers or his family are looking for a payout.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by MartyClark View Post
    Yeah, maybe. I'm not a Pollyanna, my glass isn't half full, I'm not blind but I'm not willing to think the worst of a kid and his family based on limited, maybe zero, evidence, that the kid, his handlers or his family are looking for a payout.
    Always, always, always be skeptical. It's a lesson I learned on Duke's campus, during the whole lacrosse scandal. I thought those kids were guilty as charged. They came into the bar where I worked and were the typical elitist jock bros from Animal House.

    I was dead wrong.

    Always wait for more information.

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    This is going well...

    Read this to see the worst but also most obvious take, if you dare.
    LOL, well, we know WHERE he stands!! LOL

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by left_hook_lacey View Post
    Zion is not your typical 18 year old. You can tell in his interviews he is intelligent and carries himself with a "big picture" mindset much like a young Kobe or Lebron did. Zion was "the show" in college ball last year. Everyone wanted, and still wants, a piece of him and he always carried himself with integrity and careful molding of his future brand by choosing his words and actions carefully.

    With all that said it just seems odd he would've jumped at the first low tier agency that tried to do business with him.



    I certainly don't know for a fact what might have been taking place during this time period but I'm GUESSING that Zion's parents (and "handlers") were "running the show" and they told him to sign the contract with the "low tier agency" (for God knows what reason?). I sincerely doubt that Zion independently vetted the Florida agency and made the decision all by himself to sign the contract.

    As a former lawyer, I would guess that the strategy of the Florida agency is to try to throw as much mud, pre-trial, up against "Zion's wall" (including the allegation against Duke University) in an effort to gain some leverage for a better settlement. Plain and simple. I would also guess that Zion (and his team) will ultimately reach some sort of financial settlement with the Florida agency and move on with his life. I don't think it will have any meaningful impact on his finances or lifestyle going forward but it will be a moderately expensive lesson.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by duke79 View Post
    LOL, well, we know WHERE he stands!! LOL
    LOL! Call a spade a spade...this guy is a loser, or erm, a Kentucky diehard. Are the 2 synonymous? No wonder he wrote this hit piece.

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