Attorneys for Pelicans star Zion Williamson filed amendments to a lawsuit, which claim a Florida marketing company began recruiting him to sign with the agency in January while he was still playing with Duke, according to ESPN.
Williamson initially filed a lawsuit in an effort to terminate an agreement he signed with Prime Sports Marketing in April, accusing the company of not being certified by the National Basketball Players Association or properly registered in the state of North Carolina.
The former Duke standout signed with Prime Sports just five days after declaring to enter the NBA draft, but there’s a clause in the agreement that says it can’t be terminated for five years.
Williamson ended up signing with CAA in May after ending his relationship with Prime Sports, but the lawsuit is still ongoing. In response, the agency threatened to sue Williamson for $100 million in damages.
ESPN notes North Carolina law requires agents to be registered in order to sign and recruit clients. The agreement was considered unlawful under North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act and “the agreement failed to contain a conspicuous notice in boldface type in capital letters informing the athlete that by signing the agreement he was losing his eligibility to compete as a student-athlete, which is required by the UAAA.”
Williamson’s attorney, Jeffrey S. Klein, told ESPN in June at the time of the initial filing: “Prime Sports Marketing’s actions towards Mr. Williamson blatantly violated the North Carolina statute specifically designed to protect student-athletes. Mr. Williamson properly exercised his rights under the law to void his business dealings with Prime Sports Marketing. Prime Sports Marketing’s continued threats against Mr. Williamson made necessary the filing of this lawsuit.”
Williamson won National Player of the Year honors last season, while averaging 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds for the Blue Devils.