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Thursday Quickies: Nike Scandal (?) Edition

Michael Avennati is back in the news with new allegations

Attorney Michael Avenatti Appears In Court For Hearing In Case Accusing Him Of Stealing Funds From Stormy Daniels Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

College basketball is back in the news, but not for the best reason.

Remember Michael Avenatti? While he was more known for his involvement in representing Stormy Daniels, Avenatti made waves in the sports scene when he brought forth allegations that Nike was paying high school basketball recruits. He was later arrested and charged for extortion due to his contact with Nike.

News came from Yahoo’s Pat Forde late last night that a motion filed in federal court alleges corruption and payouts to top recruits in the Nike EYBL, including Zion Williamson, Romeo Langford, and a minor whose name was redacted.

Nothing much has came of Avenatti’s previous allegations which included Oregon making payments to Bol Bol among others, so it’s uncertain how true Avenatti’s claims are. Among his claims are that Zion Williamson was paid $35,000+ and Langford was paid $20,000.

This new claim is relevant to Kentucky because it does include a reference to UK.

“[EYBL Director Carlton] DeBose, according to the motion, also “acknowledged in an exchange of text messages with an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky that Nike was funneling payments to high school players through at least ten different EYBL coaches.”

While Kentucky getting mentioned isn’t great for publicity, there are also no direct ties to any wrongdoing either, and we still don’t know the validity of Avenatti’s claims as a whole.

Anyway, it seems that college hoops corruption will find its way back into the headlines, and I highly doubt this will be the last we hear from Avenatti. We’ll just have to see how it unfolds.

You can check out the full story here.

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