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Bomani Jones says media backlash with Zion scandal would be different if Calipari was his coach

Former Duke star Zion Williamson is being accused of accepting impermissible benefits to play for the Blue Devils, and no one is thinking twice about it.

According to Daniel Wallach, a legal analyst for The Athletic, Williamson’s former marketing agent, Gina Ford, is trying to get the New Orleans Pelicans rookie to admit under oath that he accepted illegal benefits leading up to his commitment to Duke. In a recent 100-page court claim, Ford accuses Williamson of accepting “money, benefits, favors or other things of value” to attend Duke University and to wear and/or use Nike and Adidas, among other allegations.

While most national media members who have become numb to pay-for-play scandals are brushing off the allegations, ESPN’s Bomani Jones is questioning whether analysts would be acting the same way if he went somewhere other than Duke.

In fact, Jones believes that if these allegations had come out with Williamson at Kentucky under John Calipari, the national media would be having a field day with this news.

“I do find it interesting though that yes, we are – generally speaking – numb about the idea that college players are getting paid,” Jones said on today’s edition of Highly Questionable. “However, you’re telling me that if this were John Calipari involved in this same situation that we wouldn’t be here talking about this across the board? “Oh man, this doesn’t really matter.” No. It wouldn’t be “All these guys get paid.” It would be “We knew John Calipari paid players.” That’s the way we do it.”

Jones compared this lack of media backlash to the same change of tune we saw once Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke program began signing one-and-done talent. When Calipari began the one-and-done movement, it hurt college basketball. When Coach K followed suit, it was just a “change in the times.”

We’re seeing a similar trend with these most recent allegations surrounding Williamson and the Duke program. Now that the Blue Devils are potentially involved, people are looking the other way.

“I do find it interesting that once it gets to Duke, when Duke wanted to deal with one-and-done players, it was a change in the times. It wasn’t about distorting what basketball was, this is just what it is now,” Jones said. “If people were to find out this happened with Duke, we would just say, “Oh well, this is just what it is now.” But keep in mind, when they thought about taking down that banner from 1999 because of Corey Maggette and Myron Piggie and all of that, [there] wasn’t nobody running to do that then in that time either.

“This becomes fascinating in large part because it’s happening to a program by and large people have decided no matter what it is, people are gonna say it’s okay because they’re so valuable.”

Will Williamson admit under oath what potentially happened behind the scenes at Duke? Jones thinks not.

“He ain’t snitching, he’s not gonna do it. They’ve got themselves a situation now, they’re in this game together,” the ESPN analyst said. “Zion is better off because he went to Duke and got the pub that came from going to Duke. He seemed to enjoy his experience, he’s not going to be the one that says anything about what happened while he was there.”

Check out the entire segment below:

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

33 Comments for Bomani Jones says media backlash with Zion scandal would be different if Calipari was his coach

  1. nocode96
    7:49 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    Bo is incredibly astute and has never been one to sugar coat any opinion he has. I’m surprised espn let him say it though honestly. Him and LeBetard are pretty much the only rains I listen to or watch espn anymore, unless there’s a UK game.

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:04 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      The unbelievable thing is that so few are willing to see it and say something about it, like if they don’t say it, it never happened.

    • mashburnfan1
      11:03 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe one reason it would be different if it were Cal is their history. One coach has had wins vacated at TWO schools and one has not. One coach was associated with ww Wes who is thought of as a money man. Look ALL coaches cheat and all top programs pay players. But this may be a reason it would be different if it were Cal or a Self, Miller or Sampson type coaches. Their history matters.

    • dcforuk
      9:44 pm May 12, 2020 Permalink

      Here is another reason. “News is what the news media says it is.”

  2. JT55
    7:52 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    Another reason why most of the media is fake and cooked.

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:05 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      You’re right,all mainstream media is owned by a very few big corporations which makes it that much easier to control.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:42 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      All media is fake and corrupt. Fox CNN are two evil siblings that hates everything the friends of the other does, while lying and downplaying everything their friends do. If any media was ever honest they would lose their party’s protection and be pulled off the air.

  3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    8:23 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    I like Bomani alright, but is this a startling revelation?

    • Wildfelinebeeline
      8:41 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      While I think we’d all agree with you that this isn’t a startling revelation, Jones’ story certainly shines a light on the disparity between Cal and K from a national media source. You only wish more would report similar stories about Duke.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:42 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      True enough.

    • JusSayin
      9:31 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      Well obviously not to us.

      But he’s a national sports analysts and I think it’s important that other people that aren’t us hear this opinion.

  4. dcforuk
    8:46 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    Agreed completely. I can defend Cal with regard to Rose. That’s easy. I need help getting educated on the Marcus C situation without necessarily wanting to rely on “that was years ago.” I feel some disagreements coming with some people that I know when I argue the same as Bo and would like to get equipped on the defense with M.C.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:55 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      The big difference that matters is that Coach K did this after the NCAA made rules to hold the coach responsible. So even if neither knew it was more on the shoulders of K and Duke to guarantee Zion was clean. The other issue is Duke’s recruiting was only ok till a known cheater got a job as an assistant coach and know that he’s gone their recruiting has started to fall back off a bit.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:56 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      If I recall, there was never any proof he knew Camby took money from an agent.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:59 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      Well the word is K didn’t know either but like I pointed out that is supposed to have been removed as a defense. It is Duke and K though so I didn’t do it is the depth of any investigation into them.

    • dcforuk
      10:56 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink


  5. Dark Soul
    9:08 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    We all knew this is how it has been I’m just glad someone had the balls to say it

  6. grammarpoliceUK
    9:59 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    Well, Bo will probably be looking for another job now!

  7. dan1965
    10:47 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    Preach Bomani !
    And Fox news reports FACTS,except for the few liberals they have over there,FAR AND AWAY best news outlets going !
    They were reporting TRUTH about the Russian investigation , and democrat lies YEARS ahead of CNN and all other outlets,I know because I watch it and have forever ! And hell yes I voted for Trump to !

    • 4everUKBlue
      11:28 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

      All media is controlled. Do you really believe you’re hearing anything from any mainstream media you’re not meant to hear? You’re hearing exactly what the CIA wants you to hear and nothing more, it’s a known fact that the CIA controls the entire entertainment industry and has for a very long time. The end agenda is all the same no matter which party you vote for. Look into Cambridge Analytica and the Heritage Foundation.

    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      10:45 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

      Fox News doesn’t have a grea track record with accuracy.

      You didn’t have to tell us you voted for Trump….the poor grammar in your post let us know exactly where you stand. Also, *too.

  8. notbillraftery
    11:25 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    I guess it is easy to forget that Cal self reported on Camby? Onions!

  9. Lip Man 1
    11:29 pm May 11, 2020 Permalink

    Bomani is EXACTLY correct in his comments…Cory Maggette and Lance Thomas immediately come to mind.

  10. dan1965
    4:22 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

    4everukblue sure all media is controlled to a point, just like anyone who works anywhere else is controlled to a point by there job,bosses. But that doesn’t mean aren’t “free” to report the truth ! Lol I’m not sure how old you are,but I’m old enough to know everything isn’t a conspiracy theory controlled by the CIA !I’m also smart enough to know there are some conspiracy theories out there though, but I’m also smart enough to examine the “Facts” and differentiate between them I’m a former Deputy Sheriff and was very good at what I did. That’s why when the story began about Russia and Trump, I knew from the beginning it was an attention to basically try to keep him out of office by a “political coupe”, which is exactly what it was no matter what the Democrat liberals on the left or anyone else says!
    What is not a conspiracy theory is the George Soros funded left wing left political organization, by which he is controlling many politician, like Matt here,whether he accepts and believes it or not,and many other on the left,Like Obama, where in time it will turn into what I believe will be an arm of the Antichrist. The Bible I believe, and see things occurring daily that are not conspiracy theories,but fact !

    • UKFanSC
      7:20 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

      Some comments just scream 4:22 am

  11. CahillsCrossingNT
    7:18 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

    Please learn when to use was or were.

  12. Dustin Rumbaugh
    8:20 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

    For some reason it won’t let me comment as a reply but to “dcforuk” above, in a nutshell, the difference here is that Marcus Camby accepted money from sports agents AFTER he established himself as a lottery pick during his play at UMASS with the agents goals being that he would sign with them after he left UMASS and declared for the draft. It was payment in order to sign with them after he turned pro. Calipari and UMASS didn’t benefit from that at all and it was a lose/lose situation for them… would either end with him leaving UMASS and going for the money without getting caught and causing UMASS trouble vs leaving, get the money, get caught and they lose their banner, which is what happened. No way it would make any rational sense for Calipari or UMASS to have been involved or sign off on this. In this case, Zion was getting paid to get him to go to Duke in the first place. The fact that he would eventually sign with them when he went pro was the shoe company’s goal and getting the best recruit in the nation was Duke’s goal so they both had motivation to sign off on this. So basically the difference is that UMASS and Cal would get no benefit so its illogical to think they would be involved, whereas there was a HUGE benefit for Duke so they definitely would have been involved and probably signed off on it.

  13. UKLugo
    8:26 am May 12, 2020 Permalink

    It stayed in the headlines on and for less than 3 days. Not even the college basketball page headlines. Gotta look for it now. Even during these times with little news out there. If it were UK, theyd have it splatted on the headlines for 2 weeks minimum.

  14. dan1965
    4:14 pm May 12, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah we’ll the 7:20 a.m idiot can’t refuse 1 things I said to be false,and so he says nothing !

  15. satcheluk
    10:48 pm May 12, 2020 Permalink

    All the mushbrain anti-media BS in the comment section make me embarrassed to be associated with some UK fans. Grow up!

  16. dan1965
    2:42 am May 14, 2020 Permalink

    satcheluk if you don’t think there should be a bias against the media,then you are an ABSOLUTE IDIOT.
    For the last 3 years all %90 of the media has done,and even CONTINUE to do is lie,and push and Anti-Trump agenda !
    They have participated in my opinion in an attempt to help over turn an election, I have heard more lies from CNN, MSNBC, and many of the others that are outrageous ! Even though other day they edited and interview Katherine Hershey did with A.G. Barr to try to make him look bad ! Anyone associated with the Trump Presidency they have attacked,even President Trumps 12 year old son at the time !
    If you,or anyone else cannot,or REFUSES to take time to see,and CARE about a coupe attempt,unmasking of US citizens,and all the things that happened, YOU should be ashamed ! I love and care about this country,I have followed the issues RELENTLESSLY ,and these are Major issues in our country,and the media needs to REPORT THE NEWS,and stop trying to be part of it,or make it because the party in office is AGAINST there individual agenda !!!