Louisville freshman Brian Bowen is out of the FBI’s crosshairs and has cleared the first hurdle toward gaining reinstatement this season.
Bowen’s attorney, Jason Setchen, told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Thursday that Bowen has been cleared of “investigative impediments” by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As a result, Louisville now can move forward toward reinstating the five-star forward by conducting its own internal investigation.
Bowen, a former Michigan State target and Saginaw native, was the player at the center of the ongoing FBI investigation that uncovered mass corruption and bribery in college-basketball recruiting.
FBI documents allege Bowen, who never was specifically named but later was identified as “Player-10,” and his family were funneled $100,000 from an Adidas executive to play at Louisville and represent Adidas once he turned pro.
However, Setchen argues Bowen’s father, Brian Sr., is the one who conspired with Louisville coaches and Adidas representatives in the alleged “pay-to-play” scheme and Bowen didn’t violate any NCAA rules because he was unaware of the alleged activities.
“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,” Setchen told the Courier-Journal. “It is unfair to Brian or any student-athlete to try and punish them for actions of others who are not in their control.”
According to NCAA bylaws, parents can serve as agents if they represent an athlete “for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain.” The next step for Setchen is proving that Bowen didn’t directly benefit from his father’s involvement in the alleged scheme.
Since the news broke, Louisville has fired Hall-of=Fame coach Rick Pitino, assistant coach Jordan Fair and athletic director Tom Jurich. Bowen was suspended indefinitely from the team in October but remains on campus as an enrolled student.
Michigan freshman Jordan Poole, Bowen’s friend and former high school teammate, told The News last week if Bowen was unable to play this year, it’d be difficult to see.
“Knowing that he had such amazing talent — and he still does — and being able to play with a guy like that last year and building a relationship and a bond that you have and to see one of your closest friends go through a situation like that it's something that we feel like you got to move on forward and keep his mind off of it,” Poole said.