New Orleans forward Zion Williamson has been ordered by a Florida state judge to answer questions regarding if he received any illegal benefits while he attended Duke University.
According to Mark Schlabach of ESPN, Florida 11th Circuit Judge David Miller has ruled that Williamson will be required to answer questions under oath from attorney’s Gina Ford and Prime Sports Marketing.
Ford and Prime Sports are suing Williamson and Creative Arts Agency (CAA) for $100 million for breach of a marketing agreement.
According to Ford and Prime Sports, CAA interfered and breached Prime Sports’ five-year contract with Williamson.
Prior to Tuesday’s ruling from the judge, Williamson’s attorneys have asked a federal judge in that case to void his marketing agreement with Ford and Prime Sports Marketing. Their claim is that their contract wasn’t valid because Ford was not a registered agent in the state of North Carolina and she did not warn Williamson of such, with is required by state law to protect amateur athletes.
The reason Ford wants Williamson to answer questions under oath, is to hopefully show that Williamson received illegal benefits, therefore making him ineligible for NCAA competition. This would then make him unprotected by North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agent Act.
However, if Williamson can prove that he did not receive benefits while at Duke, then his contract with Prime Sports will be deemed invalid. But due to the lengths Ford is willing to go to get Williamson under oath, she may feel that she has a strong case.
Williamson’s attorneys are expected to file an appeal, so he won’t be appearing under oath anytime soon.