Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie and former Duke Blue Devils star, was accused of receiving housing and luxury cars in his parents’ name in exchange for going to the prestigious university, an agent claimed in new documents amid her lawsuit against the player.
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Agent Gina Ford claimed in a lawsuit against Williamson that his parents moved into a North Carolina home owned by a Duke alumnus and his several luxury vehicles were registered in his parents’ names, according to documents obtained by The Athletic on Wednesday.
The filing reportedly seeks testimony from legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski based on comments he made about the NCAA’s “pay to play” scandal in 2018. The coach at the time called the scandal a “blip/minute,” according to the filing.
The latest claims come amid a lawsuit filed last summer in Florida from Prime Sports Marketing and company president Gina Ford, accusing Williamson and the Pelicans player’s new agency of breach of contract. Lawyers for Prime Sports and Ford argued Tuesday that Williamson didn’t meet the standard definition of a student-athlete because he was “ineligible/permanently ineligible” to play college sports.
Williamson had previously filed his own lawsuit before the Prime Sports-Ford suit in North Carolina to terminate a five-year contract with Prime Sports after moving to Creative Artists Agency LLC. Williamson’s lawsuit argued that Prime Sports violated North Carolina’s sports agent law by failing to include disclaimers about the potential loss of eligibility when he signed the contract, and that neither party was registered as agents with the state.
Ford and Prime Sports argue that the law, called the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, wouldn’t apply if Williamson was ineligible to play from the jump. Ford is seeking $100 million from Williams for violating their contract.
Williamson's attorney, Jeffrey S. Klein, called the recent filing in the lawsuit a “shameful attempt to distract from their admitted violations of North Carolina law.
“As Duke University stated in 2019, they and the NCAA both investigated and confirmed Mr. Williamson's student-athlete eligibility,” Klein said in a statement. “The defendants' baseless allegations are a continuation of the predatory acts the agent statute was designed to protect against.
“Mr. Williamson looks forward to his day in court in North Carolina and, until then, remains focused on the NBA season and proudly representing his family, fans, and the city of New Orleans.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.