Duke ‘looking into’ Michael Avenatti allegation

Duke University’s athletic director, Kevin White, said over the weekend that the school is “looking into” allegations by attorney Michael Avenatti that Nike paid the mother of Blue Devils basketball star Zion Williamson for consulting services while Duke was recruiting him.

Avenatti, who was charged last week with trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike, tweeted that Nike paid Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Sampson, for “bogus” services in 2016 or 2017 “as part of a Nike bribe to get Zion to go to Duke.”

White said: “Duke is fully committed to compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations.”

Nike, which has sponsored Duke athletics since 1992, said it “firmly believes in ethical and fair play” and declined to comment further.

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