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Zion Williamson seeks protective order, calls inquiry “invasive” and “irrelevant”

It’s been over two weeks since Zion Williamson’s former agent Gina Ford filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that he received impermissible benefits to play basketball at Duke. Last night, we finally heard from Zion himself — at least, through a legal document. According to Daniel Wallach, Zion filed for a protective order against the inquiry, which he called “invasive” and “irrelevant”:

Last Friday, Williamson’s legal team filed a motion with the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, asking that the requested discovery against him be “stayed” (meaning put on hold) pending the resolution of Williamson’s appeal of that court’s order denying his motion to dismiss that action for lack of personal jurisdiction. Alternatively, Williamson’s attorneys have asked the Florida court to enter a “protective order” against Ford’s requested discovery, arguing that it is “invasive, “burdensome,” “legally irrelevant,” and “nothing more than a fishing expedition aimed at tarnishing Williamson’s reputation.”

Last time I checked Merriam Webster, neither “invasive” nor “irrelevant” means “false.” It will be interesting to see whether or not the judge decides to grant the order, which would prevent Ford’s lawyers from beginning discovery, which could include Zion, his family members, and even Mike Krzyzewski being questioned under oath.

In case you need a refresher on the lawsuit, Williamson originally signed a deal with Ford’s company, Prime Sports Marketing, but backed out to sign with Creative Artists Agency. To get out of his deal with Prime Sports, he sued Ford, claiming the contract was void because it violated North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act since Prime Sports Marketing is not a registered agent there. In response, Ford sued Williamson for breach of contract, claiming that he was not protected by the Uniformed Athlete Agents Act because he received illegal benefits at Duke. Specifically, Ford wants answers from Williamson, his mother, and his stepfather about the house they lived in while he was at Duke, along with other gifts, money, and potentially a car he received during his time as a Blue Devil.

For more on this recent development, check out Wallach’s very thorough piece on Forbes.com.

[Forbes]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

25 Comments for Zion Williamson seeks protective order, calls inquiry “invasive” and “irrelevant”



  1. ClutchCargo
    10:12 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Ruh-roh!



  2. UKgrad80
    10:13 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds like somebody is trying very hard to not let the dirty truth out!



  3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    10:14 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    “Last time I checked Merriam Webster, neither “invasive” nor “irrelevant” means “false.”

    Good point MTT. I certainly don’t know all the legalities here, but Rush Limbaugh always says “Words mean things”.



    • dukeisking
      4:24 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

      If you listen to Rush Lymnoid then you too must be a pill head!!!!



  4. jaws2
    10:49 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Like every other case at DUKE, this is going nowhere.



  5. 4everUKBlue
    10:53 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah I’m sure “invasive” and “irrelevant” are the words Zion used….LMAO!



  6. Alex90
    11:26 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    The fact that they said it’s irrelevant when it’s the most relevant issue at hand is pretty telling



  7. Wildfelinebeeline
    11:55 am May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Burn baby, burn! But, it won’t surprise me if the judge in this case is a Duke Law alum and he throws it out.



  8. Mr.Incognito
    12:01 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    We all know it happened, we all know nothing is going to come of it.



  9. CahillsCrossingNT
    12:16 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Duke gained nothing out of having him, and looking back it’s for the better he was never in Lexington.



    • 4everUKBlue
      12:36 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

      For once I totally agree with you Cahill.



    • IrishCat
      1:24 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

      Dukes media exposure was at fever pitch b/c of Zion. They are media darlings anyway, but he gave them a huge boost. Duke absolutely gained from his presence. I do agree that I’m glad he didn’t end up here.



  10. UKNUTZ
    12:18 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    It’s most definitely relevant because Zion thought he could weasel out of a deal he made on the grounds that he was just an average Joe Amateur Athlete at the time and thought he could break his contract on a loophole about being an amateur college player. If they can show he or his family received any benefits before he left dUKe, than his whole argument for breaking his contract goes out the window. If he don’t like the invasive nature of the probe, he could admit the truth, or pay the woman. Sucks that a kid has to go through this, but it’s a good lesson for others not to sign on the dotted line unless you’re willing to go through with your end of the deal.



  11. Headhurts
    12:23 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Just another reason Cal steeered clear of this kid out of high school, you know the other two high profile kids with Zion at duke got a little some’n some’n too.



    • 4everUKBlue
      12:40 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

      I’m glad none of those three chose Kentucky. Dook only won that last game because the refs refused to call either of the two obvious fouls on Zion on the one play.



    • ClutchCargo
      1:54 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

      I wouldn’t say Cal steered clear at all. I would agree that he gave him his best pitch without giving into his family’s demands.



  12. UKFanSC
    12:49 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    This will never ever progress beyond the inflammatory headlines.



  13. Catcasey1
    12:57 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Why does people feel sorry for the young man I will bet anything you want that he knew what was going on they are a lot smarter then people give them credit for



  14. VirginiaCat
    2:29 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Indeed, it is relevant since the heart of the case depends on whether Zion or his relatives received impermissible benefits that would negate his status as an amateur. If there were no improper benefits, Zion could submit to the discovery process and answer the question with a simple “no.” The fact that he and his lawyers are resisting is telling. My guess is that if Zion is forced to testify, the matter will quickly be settled with a generous payment to the plaintiff. The truth of the matter will never see the light of day.



  15. chris43
    2:31 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    It’s Duke buddy! Of course it’s irrelevant that they paid the hottest HS prospect in decades to play for them! NCAA…case closed…nothing to see move on!



  16. chris43
    2:46 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s all BS! Do they beat us opening night without Zion? Who knows! Would have been a totally different team. How about the team they beat in the tourney? Who knows but without Zion they wouldn’t have been nearly as good. How about seeding? What teams did they knock down due to playing someone who was ineligible (took benefits)? The going back and vacating wins means NOTHING! When a school gets caught cheating such as this (LSU, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina) they need to drop the hammer hard on their future!



  17. Rick_S
    2:54 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    In the last 5 years, the world has seen how dirty Duke has been all along…K acts like an angel, but we know what NIKE does for him and Duke..



  18. Megan
    7:20 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    Relevancy is about the lowest legal standard there is. Evidence is relevant if it has any tendency — any — to make a consequential fact more or less probable. Zion says the contract is unenforceable because it failed to contain a notice, in bold print placed close to the signature line, making clear that he would lose college eligibility if he signed. Ford’s answer is that Zion was already ineligible under NCAA rules, and so the contract’s failure to include that notice was harmless error. It served no purpose. And let’s be honest: Everyone knew he was the No. 1 pick and would not be returning to Duke, particularly after the shoe incident and injury scare. So the request for admission that he received impermissible benefits is a clearly relevant rebuttal to Zion’s argument. It has a tendency to support the enforceability of the contract under North Carolina’s UAAA law. It’s not even a close question.

    As for invasive, I’m not sure where that comes from. But the requests for admission don’t ask for specific detail, such as exactly how much money his father was able to sell his son for, the street address of the housing he received, or the name and address of the employment he also received. The questions are general. They don’t need to be specific to make the point.



  19. timbo
    9:45 pm May 28, 2020 Permalink

    It’s hilarious because oh Kzryzskeletor thought he was going to go undefeated and walk out champion with no concern over what was discovered after.