Brian Bowen, at the center of the FBI’s investigation into Louisville basketball, transfers to South Carolina
Brian Bowen has transferred to play at the University of South Carolina, according to a school news release.
Louisville had granted Bowen a full transfer release that allowed him to transfer to any school he desired, athletics spokesman Kenny Klein said. Bowen will have to sit out a year, per NCAA rules.
“Brian deserves a fresh start and I would like to thank our University administration, President Pastides, our Board of Trustees and Ray Tanner for their hard work and guidance in helping Brian become a member of our Gamecock family,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said in the news release.
Louisville has not confirmed whether it deemed Bowen, the 6-foot-7 wing at the center of the college basketball recruiting investigation involving both teams, ineligible to the NCAA or if the program only voluntarily withheld him from team activities. If Bowen’s eligibility was turned over to the NCAA, as Setchen’s tweet indicates, he would have to be cleared by the NCAA before he can play.
Brian Bowen: ‘I didn’t know anything’ about alleged payment to play for Louisville
More: Louisville’s decision to part ways with Brian Bowen was for the best, Vince Tyra says
South Carolina’s news release does not mention NCAA reinstatement issues, but a tweet from the Twitter account of Jason Setchen, Bowen’s attorney, indicates that may be the case.
“We have worked tirelessly for Brian Bowen to help him find his way back on the court,” attorney Jason Setchen’s tweet reads. “We are so grateful that So Carolina and Coach (Frank) Martin are seeking reinstatement and ultimately for giving him a chance to compete for a National Championship.”
Bowen, a former McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior, committed to and enrolled at Louisville in early June 2017. At the time, the pledge was a surprise, as the Cardinals were late in recruiting him.
He was held out of Louisville practices in late September when federal authorities unsealed a criminal complaint detailing the FBI’s college basketball investigation that alleged at least one Louisville coach, Adidas employees and other advisers conspired to funnel money to his family to ensure he would enroll at Louisville and then sign with Adidas and those advisers when he turned pro.
The school announced in November that the then-suspended freshman would not play for the team .
South Carolina was also implicated in FBI’s criminal complaint. Former South Carolina assistant men’s basketball coach Lamont Evans, now the head coach at Oklahoma State, is accused of taking bribes to steer players to certain agents. South Carolina received a subpoena in September from a federal grand jury in New York seeking all documents, communications and evidence “regarding actual or potential NCAA rules violations” in the men’s basketball program.
Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dctello. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/darcyc .