Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas claims to know of at least two college basketball players in the last five years who were each paid $200,000 to play for the Duke Blue Devils.
On Thursday, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith posted a video on his instagram, reacting to the new California bill that would pave the way for student-athletes to earn money through endorsements. That's when Agent Zero hopped in the comments.
"Ummm (this is America) and every school u named those players get paid way more anyway." He continued, "U really think players are going to Duke over Kentucky??? I know two players in the last 5 years that's gotten (200k) to attend Duke."
According to ESPN, California's state Senate voted Wednesday to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act with a vote of 39-0, after The California State Assembly approved the bill 73-0 earlier in the week. The Fair Pay to Play Act, which would not go into effect until 2023, would allow athletes to accept endorsement money without fear of having their scholarship or eligibility taken away.
Of course, several high profile schools have allegedly been paying their top stars for years. In 2018, some of college basketball's most prestigious programs, as well as a several current and former star athletes, were named in an FBI investigation into payments made to student-athletes. According to those recent probes, guys like Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Ayton, Bam Adebayo and others allegedly received tens of thousands of dollars to attend their respective universities.