Sports

Duke Basketball Star Reportedly Asked For Cash And Other Illegal Benefits During Recruitment

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
Font Size:

Duke superstar freshman Zion Williamson has now been brought to the front and center of the college basketball corruption case.

According to Dan Wetzel, Adidas’ Merl Code and Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend can be heard in a taped conversation discussing Williamson wanting “cash” and “housing for him and his family.” (RELATED: Duke’s Basketball Squad Looks Like It’s Going To Be Unstoppable [VIDEO])

Obviously, a single-taped conversation not even allowed into evidence of the Code trial doesn’t mean anything for sure. It won’t take long at all, however, for critics of Duke and others in the basketball world to immediately assume the Blue Devils broke the rules to get him.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionlw10) on

There are two points that have to be made here. The first is that I know for a fact a lot of college sports teams at the highest levels of bending if not outright breaking the rules. How do I know this? I used to work in Division I basketball. It’s not some huge secret. It happens, your favorite school could easily be doing it and nobody would bat an eye. Let’s all stop pretending we’re so shocked.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionlw10) on

Second, and this is the big one, Duke has always been viewed by others in division one basketball as a program that is about as lily white as you can get. I don’t know a single coach who thinks Coach K. is handing off bags of cash to the guys on the roster of the Blue Devils. I say that with 100-percent seriousness. He’s viewed as the gold standard. (RELATED: This Duke Freshman Basketball Player Looks Like He’s Going To Be A Beast [VIDEO])

I’m sure many of you, especially those who hate Duke, will want to claim I’m naive. I doubt it. You can’t run a program like Coach K. has for as long as he did without any leaks of problems if they were present. It’s just not possible. You would be shocked by how easily that stuff gets out.

Do I think Duke broke the rules to get Zion Williamson? No, I do not. Maybe, I’ll be proven wrong down the road. Until then, I refuse to believe Coach K. had to hand over “cash” and “housing” to get the star freshman as Townsend has suggested Kansas should do.

P.S. I hate Duke, and they stole a ring right off my finger in 2015. I’m still able to look at this through an unbiased lens. Props to me.

Follow David on Twitter