Does Anyone Actually Care If/What Duke or Nike Paid Zion Williamson’s Family?

Star college athletes and/or their families getting paid is a story older than our grandparents, and the latest chapter is playing out in a courtroom as Zion Williamson is being sued by a former marketing agent. Details are spilling out about whether his family received impermissible benefits at the time that he was supposed to be a student athlete:

Let’s say the implications of all this are true and people associated with Duke and/or Nike did foot the bill for rent for Williamson’s family. Do you care? Williamson was a phenom who singlehandedly drove TV ratings up for ESPN’s whole college basketball slate in 2018-19. The only interesting aspect of these stories about what specific benefits were garnered is how much star basketball and football players would be worth if there were a true open market. He was arguably worth millions of dollars to Duke.

In our present system, this is all just one big game of whack-a-mole, because it doesn’t matter which sneaker agents or universities you punish — this whole cycle will just repeat itself somewhere else.

The only reason anyone would care about this story at this point is if you don’t like Coach K and want to see him go down over it. I have some bad news for you: That’s almost assuredly not gonna happen, so getting your hopes up would be setting yourself up to be highly disappointed.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.