"I'm still waiting for [Nike] to call me a liar and state they have not been bribing players for years to go to "Nike" colleges in violation of countless federal criminal statutes", Avenatti tweeted Saturday morning. Additional details in the documents suggest that some of the payments were billed to Nike through fraudulent invoices disguised as business expenses.
On March 26, Avenatti also tweeted about allegations concerning Nike making payments to get recruits to attend its schools.
Avenatti continued to make claims via Twitter that Duke star Zion Williamson's mother received "consulting" fees from Nike that were really a "bribe" to influence the top player's decision to attend Duke, which does have a Nike contract.
"We are aware of the allegation and, as we would with any compliance matter, are looking into it", Duke athletic director Kevin White said in a statement. Avenatti has yet to provide visual proof of any payments to persons connected to Williamson.
Despite facing federal charges, Avenatti continues to be aggressive in his public position against Nike. The Duke Blue Devils forward is set to become the center of a bidding war between apparel companies that are interested in signing the country's top prospect, with as much as $10 million being reportedly put on the table as a signing bonus. "I say billionaire, very easily", Vaccaro said.
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With multiple companies expected to bid for Williamson, the star forward is likely to receive a signature shoe with his rookie contract in the National Basketball Association, putting him in rare company.
Asked by CNBC if he sought financial gain, he responded, "Here's the bottom line, I had a client to represent".
Avenatti, who was charged by federal prosecutors in NY for allegedly trying to extort Nike for almost $20 million, alleged that Nike paid families of top recruits to play for Nike schools. "Why not just let that play out from law enforcement?"
"Still waiting for Nike to deny they paid bribes and lied to the government for years about it". Sports, but it didn't specifically address the charges made by Avenatti.
"I am highly confident that when the process plays out, that justice will be done", Avenatti said.
Calipari later said that he exclaimed, "I missed on another one!" when discussing Williamson after playing against Duke and, of course, Kentucky would've been better off with him on the roster.