Update: There is detail here that wasn’t in the previous links we saw: Zion Williamson’s father (stepfather?) is the person who allegedly asked for the things mentioned below).
On Wednesday Duke got somewhat dragged into the Adidas trial when attorneys tried to enter a phone call into the record where Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend alleged that Zion Williamson asked for some improper benefits.
Let’s break it down a bit.
First, not even the NCAA makes decisions based on allegations. There is no evidence that we’re aware of that backs up the allegation.
Second, people criticize Mike Krzyzewski for many things but no one has ever suggested that he isn’t meticulous and honest. We’re quite sure that after the scandal broke, he took a careful look at his own program to make sure there were no issues that might surprise him. To us, having watched him for a long time, that’s just a given. It’s inconceivable that he didn't do it and we’re sure that he reviewed things with his freshmen as well. When he said that the scandal didn’t concern him, he wasn’t just saying that. He made sure that he could say that.
Third, as you may recall, our theory about Williamson’s recruitment was that the main factor was the closeness of his family and his mother’s desire that he stay close to home. Calling him a mama’s boy is kind of pushing it but the family is tight knit. That’s why we were certain that he was going to Clemson. We were positive that there was no way he was going to Kansas. That doesn’t disprove the allegations but to us, given his mother’s reported desire to keep him close, KU made no sense at all.
We’ll see what happens from here but it seems like, to borrow a word, a blip.
However we would repeat what we’ve said several times recently: you cannot suppress markets and the market for talented basketball players is very lucrative. What the NCAA tries to enforce is unenforceable and no longer makes sense, if it ever did.
When there are millions of dollars available for talented players, it defies logic to think they’ll give it away for free.
The NCAA - and really it’s every level of the game this side of the NBA - needs to come to terms with the staggering amounts of money that various parties are willing to trade for goods and services. It’s ludicrous to deny it.