Clay Travis: "We always says ‘Oh, this guy is a great recruiter’... Do you think a guy like Coach K is aware of what Nike is doing?"
Michael Avenatti: "I don’t know how any coach at a major ‘Nike College’ could not be aware of what’s going on. Does Coach K think that Zion Williamson turned down compensation at Kansas just because Coach K and Duke are that great?? You begin to wonder why they’ve had so much success. Seventeen of the last 20 National Champions have been Nike schools and it's starting to look like that’s not such a coincidence."
Listen to prominent attorney and legal commentator Michael Avenatti join Outkick The Coverage to talk the developing story that has entangled Avenatti with one of the largest companies in the world.
Avenatti is in a war with sports apparel leviathan Nike after an AAU basketball coach-turned Nike whistleblower contacted Avenatti when Nike became aggressive after the coach refused to follow in the company’s alleged scheme of paying amateur basketball players to lure them to schools outfitted by Nike.
The plan was pretty simple. Amateur basketball coaches from around the country who had access to prized blue chip recruits would submit bogus invoices to Nike associated with their youth basketball programs. Nike would then pay the bogus invoices to the coaches and direct them to make lucrative payments to the players, their families, and their handlers. Which would then steer those players, i.e. DeAndre Ayton, and Zion Williamson, to Nike sponsored schools like Arizona and Duke.
Nike has tried to throw a monkey wrench in Avenatti’s barrage on public opinion by the distraction of having Avenatti arrested and charged with extortion for allegedly demanding tens of millions of dollars from Nike to keep this quiet… Which raises a massive red flag in its own right considering the idea of extortion by Avenatti would be predicated on an underlying level of truth – I.e. you can’t extort someone on something that isn’t true.
Avenatti says Nike has been paying tens of millions of dollars to the best high school players in the United States for over an extended period of time to secure the probability they attend Nike schools.
Avenatti says many in the public are wondering who the victims are when it comes to a scenario that simply appears like unpaid amateur athletes getting rightfully compensated, (albeit illegally) but says there is indeed a massive problem with this. He states that Nike is literally handpicking which schools they want to prosper and essentially playing God in college sports. He also says they’re incriminating these amateur athletes and couldn’t care less about their wellbeing and simply using them as a pawn to profit off of.
Avenatti alleges that this pay-for-play scandal is nothing like the Adidas one in size and actually a scandal ‘500 times’ the scale of that. And it’s not just low level rogue outsiders with knowledge but the top executives at Nike who are fully aware and complicit.
Check out the full scathing interview below: