A clarification from the author.
The Offensive Board has issued a clarification since everyone, myself included, pointed out a huge hole in the story and that was the insistence the meeting happened on Thursday night.
UPDATE: Just to make some clarifications re: the original post and to help alleviate some jabs to my credibility.
According to my source, Lawson arrived at Outback around 9:45 p.m. and stayed until at least 10:15 p.m. He was seated at “table 1.” Lawson at position 1, agent at position 2, father across table at position 3.
While seated, three kids sitting in the lounge with their father that got up upon seeing him and asked for his autograph.
So, he WAS NOT THERE DURING THE BANQUET. He was there after.
Now it might turn out that Lawson and Ellington are going pro but I am still not buying this story because of certain questions.
1. Why meet in a public place at all?
The NCAA is clear. If Lawson so much as takes a Tic-Tac from an agent he is done with his college career so why risk the appearance of impropriety and appear in a place you would be known and risk the story coming out like this? It just does not make sense and there are any number of ways to have this meeting without having it at the Outback in Durham where the player would be immediately recognized.
2. How do the eyewitnesses know it was an agent?
I admit this is a weak question on my part but it is possible the person in question was not an agent. According to the account the people who saw him were sitting in the “lounge” area(which is another issue I have because where the heck is there a lounge at Outback? Does he mean the bar area here?) and went over to the table to get an autograph. So did Lawson say the guy was an agent? Did the guy introduce himself as an agent? Maybe he had a nameplate he carries with him since sitting in resturants is his office? I am just saying that I am not sure how they knew or how they were able to relay parts of the conversation such as discussing his draft position being #21 if they were in the bar area.
3. Only a 30 minute meeting?
And not so much the meeting length but again the idea that if you are only going to touch base for 30 minutes, why not carry on the conversation via the phone or meet somewhere less public. Sitting in the first table close to the front where the whole world can see you when you are engaging in an activity that could raise flags with the NCAA and jeopardize you eligibility to really, really stupid.
As I said, Lawson could very well be on his way out but this story just strikes me as odd. Also, the fact he had to come back and clarify the timeline is red flag to me. Why not include all the information from the get go instead of tossing it out with a lot of ambiguity?
While I am here let me say, if and I stress if this is true then Lawson gets full points for being stupid for having this meeting in an Outback in Durham. Then again, the agent is equally stupid for agreeing to it which I why I have my doubts.