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Pelicans star Zion Williamson asked in lawsuit to admit he received illicit benefits at Duke

Zion Williamson

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 06: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts against the Miami Heat during a game at the Smoothie King Center on March 06, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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Pelicans star Zion Williamson and Gina Ford/Prime Sports are suing each other.

Williamson signed with Prime Sports as he left Duke last year then terminated the contract before the Pelicans drafted him No. 1 overall. Now with CAA, Williamson claims that agreement was unlawful because it didn’t comply with North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act (which restricts agents’ ability to sign eligible college athletes).

Ford now appears to be setting up a case that Williamson wasn’t actually an eligible college athlete when he signed with Prime Sports.

Daniel Wallach of The Athletic:

Remember: NCAA rules are not laws. Just because the NCAA built a cartel to limit athletes’ compensation, it’s not actually good that high-level basketball players aren’t paid market rate.

By the time players reach the NBA, college-time payments are usually just banter. NCAA violations can be a big deal for colleges left behind, but professional players rarely face consequences.

The lawsuits involving Williamson make him an exception. This is a real issue for him as he sets off on his NBA career.