On October 9, 2018, Brian Bowen Sr., the father of a Louisville Cardinals’ recruit, took the stand to testify in the FBI’s case regarding corruption in college basketball. Federal prosecutors assert that it is a federal crime to break NCAA rules and is charging two Adidas officials an NBA agent with accusations that they brokered a deal to pay families of recruits to secure a commitment to Adidas-sponsored teams.
According to federal prosecutors, Adidas officials and others conspired to pay Bowen’s family $100,000 in exchange for his commitment to Louisville. According to the testimony of one financial adviser, he met with Bowen Sr. in July 2017 and gave him $19,400 on behalf of Adidas. The adviser stated a second payment of $25,000 was planned but was never delivered given numerous arrests related to the case. Bowen Sr. stated that he never told his son or anyone at Louisville that he was taking money from Adidas.
Bowen Sr. testified to a long list of that he received a $1,300 cash payment from a Louisville ex-assistant coach, Kenny Johnson, in order to secure his son’s commitment to the school. During his testimony, the prosecutors questioned Bowen Sr. about his text messages with Johnson in which they set up a meeting to exchange the payment. Bowen said he received payments from coaches at other schools as well.
After news of the scandal broke, Louisville fired Johnson and a second assistant coach. Although Bowen Sr. initially denied the allegations to the FBI, he later retracted those statements. He said he lied to the FBI to avoid getting his son in trouble. However, after cutting a deal for immunity, he later agreed to be a witness for the government.