Rick Pitino knew about, participated in payment scheme to Brian Bowen, indictment says | Zagsblog
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Thursday / February 22.
  • Rick Pitino knew about, participated in payment scheme to Brian Bowen, indictment says

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    Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino knew about and participated in the payment scheme to Brian Bowen’s family, according to the indictment of former Adidas executive Jim Gatto. 

    Via ESPN:

    The indictment, which was released Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, includes a new description of a meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room on July 27. The FBI recorded and videotaped the meeting between former AAU basketball coach Christian Dawkins, a Louisville assistant coach and others as they conspired to pay Bowen’s family to ensure the star recruit signed with the Cardinals, an Adidas-sponsored team.

    “Dawkins explained that while [Pitino] and the University of Louisville were recruiting [Bowen], Dawkins asked [Pitino] to call James Gatto to request that [Adidas] provide the money requested by the family of [Bowen], which [Pitino] agreed to do,” the indictment reads.

    A previous description of the meeting, which was included in an FBI complaint against Gatto released on Sept. 26, indicated Dawkins had spoken with Pitino and asked him to call Gatto about Adidas paying Bowen’s family. But it didn’t include language indicating Pitino agreed to do it.

    The original complaint read: “Dawkins said he had spoken with Coach-2 [who has been reported to be Pitino] about getting additional money for [Bowen’s] family and informed [Pitino] that ‘I need you to call Jim Gatto, who’s the head of everything’ at [Adidas’] basketball program.”

     

    Pitino was “effectively fired” Sept. 27, one day after the FBI college bribery scandal was revealed. He was then officially let go on Oct. 16. He has since said he had “no knowledge” of any alleged payments to Bowen and feels “vindicated” by the process.

    “Terry, nobody got indicted,” Pitino told Louisville radio host Terry Meiners. “No system coaches got indicted. Nothing happened yet. The facts haven’t been out. They rushed to judgment. They killed my dreams. They killed some of the players’ dreams who wanted to play for me. They killed one of the top recruiting classes in the history of my tenure without any facts going on. Now that’s OK. I’m a big boy, and I’ll land on my feet the right way when the truth comes out.

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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.

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