Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Feds tell Louisville they can investigate, potentially reinstate Brian Bowen
The FBI has told Louisville that it can investigate, and potentially reinstate, Brian Bowen, the player whose family was allegedly set to be paid $100,000 by Adidas in the college bribery scandal.
Bowen’s attorney, Jason Setchen, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Bowen is clear of “investigative impediments” previously placed by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“Brian and I are excited with this development and look forward to working with the university and the NCAA to clarify any concerns or issues that they have in furtherance of Brian’s prompt return to competition,” Setchen told the paper.
The Bowen scandal ended up costing former Louisville AD Tom Jurich and head coach Rick Pitino their jobs. Pitino, who was “effectively fired” Sept. 27, has maintained he had no knowledge of the situation and released additional documentation to support his case. Among them were documents indicating Pitino took a polygraph test proving he had no knowledge of payments to Bowen’s family, and text messages with Carrie Malecke, Bowen’s mother, in which she said she was “totally blindsided” by the accusations.
The 6-foot-7 Bowen has remained out of action with the Cardinals and Louisville has not clarified whether Bowen — who chose Louisville over Arizona and others — has been suspended or declared ineligible by the NCAA. Bowen is not currently listed on the team’s basketball roster.
The Sept. 26 FBI complaint named assistants from four colleges, and also alleged Adidas arranged to pay Bowen’s family $100,000 in return for his commitment to Louisville and his subsequent signing with Adidas.
“Brian (Jr.) was not aware of any of the alleged activities,” Setchen told the Courier-Journal, “and it is our position that he has not violated any NCAA rules or bylaws. … It’s a fundamental aspect of being an American that we are not held responsible for the actions of other people and we have a right to associate. It is unfair to Brian or any student-athlete to try and punish them for actions of others who are not in their control.”
For more on the Bowen situation, read our New York Times story here.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.