Is Zion Williamson Under Investigation for Taking Money from Nike?

Is Zion Williamson Under Investigation for Taking Money from Nike?

photo credit: EQRoy // Shutterstock

Zion Williamson is projected to be the #1 pick in the NBA draft on June 20th. When he officially declares for the draft in June, he will announce which major shoe company he plans to sign with. 

Recently he has been mentioned in Michael Avenatti’s extortion deal against Nike. Avenatti tweeted last week that Nike executive Carlton DeBose bribed Williamson and 5 other high end recruits to attend school associated with the Nike brand. Adding that Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Sampson received money from Nike during her son’s recruitment which is how he ended up at Duke, a Nike-sponsored school. 

According to Avenatii, the payments were labeled as “consulting.”

A publication by the name of Deadspin, is now claiming that the invoice Avenatti received regarding Zion’s mother, was a hoax. Deadspin is claiming to have spoken to someone who fabricated a fake invoice for $2,125 and text it to Avenatii. This allegedly happened about an hour before Avenatti took to Twitter to share all of his Nike extortion findings. 

But Avenatti claims to have more proof than the fake invoice. Adding that he never received any messages from that source. Avenatti says he got his information from a Nike employee. “It is from a Nike employee and I learned of it approximately 14 days prior to the tweet I sent out,” he stated to Law and Crime. “Shortly thereafter, it was provided to the government.”

“We are aware of the allegation and, as we would with any compliance matter, are looking into it,” Kevin White, Duke’s director of athletics, said in a statement to media outlets. “Duke is fully committed to compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations. Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility. With regard to men’s basketball: all recruits and their families are thoroughly vetted by Duke in collaboration with the NCAA through the Eligibility Center’s amateurism certification process.”

Written by Clarke Jones

Source: USA Today,

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