In official court documents, the University of Louisville alleged that Rick Pitino knew other schools were trying to pay recruit, Brian Bowen, to get him to commit to playing for those universities.
“DePaul trying to pay Bowen 200 K to come there,” Pitino texted then assistant coach Kenny Johnson, according to court records. “Crazy world.”
Both Pitino and Louisville are suing each other after Pitino’s 2017 firing for allegedly bribing recruits to go to the university according to Riley. These texts and other documents are included in the lawsuit.
The university is also claiming Pitino had knowledge of the involvement of a former agent and an Adidas executive in Bowen’s recruitment. Louisville says that he did not tell the compliance office about this involvement.
The agent was Christian Dawkins, who was arrested last year as a part of the FBI’s investigation of corruption in college basketball.
On June 2, per the documents, Dawkins texted Pitino saying: “Coach…do me a favor. Call big Brian [Bowen’s father]. Everything is good. The Nike guys, Wes [presumably William Wesley,
a highly influential sports agent], everyone is hating that [Bowen] chose Louisville. We are 100% good. But I just want him to hear from u.”
Bowen later signed with Louisville before the NCAA found him ineligible for last season. After this, Bowen left school, tested the waters at the University of South Carolina, then declared for the 2018 NBA Draft. He withdrew from the 2018 NBA Draft on June 11. Bowen can now test the market in overseas or possibly play in the G League to continue his career.
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