Ex-Louisville Assistant Accused of Pay-to-Play

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The Philadelphia Inquirer


The father of a former Louisville basketball recruit testified Tuesday in federal court in New York that former Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson, now a La Salle Explorers assistant, gave him $1,300 to make payment on a rental apartment in Louisville.

According to multiple reports, Brian Bowen Sr. told a jury that he had asked Johnson for the money and that Johnson was "flabbergasted" at the request in the summer of 2017, but later made the payment. "He made it pretty clear that this was like a one-time deal for him,'' Bowen testified, saying that Johnson told him, "At Louisville, they didn't need to pay players."

Bowen also testified that he did not tell Louisville coaches that Adidas was separately funneling him money for his son to go to the Adidas-sponsored school. Rick Pitino was let go as Louisville's head coach after the news about the payments to Bowen Sr. were part of an indictment against Adidas employees and others. Louisville coaches were not part of the indictment.

Brian Bowen Jr. spent last year at Louisville without playing before he transferred to South Carolina. Due to an NCAA ruling, he removed himself from college.He is now playing professionally for the Sydney Kings in Australia. Johnson was let go at Louisville after Pitino was fired. New La Salle coach Ashley Howard then hired Johnson as an assistant.

According to ZagsBlog.com, Bowen Sr. also testified that he had received $5,000 for his son to play for a Nike-affiliated travel team and that the coach of an Indiana prep school where his son played gave Bowen Sr. $8,000 in cash "over a period of time." Both of those coaches are now DePaul assistants.

According to Law360, a website that covers New York courts, Bowen Sr. testified that Christian Dawkins, on trial in this case, told him that an unnamed Creighton University coach was offering him $100,000 and a "high-paying job" for his son to choose Creighton.

Bowen Sr. also testified about a $150,000 offer from Oklahoma State, couldn't recall hearing that Texas had offered free housing, and couldn't recall telling the FBI that an Oregon assistant had paid him $3,000.

According to the Associated Press, Bowen Sr. testified that his son didn't know of the payments: "I didn't want him to get involved in something that was wrong ... and I definitely didn't want my son to lose his eligibility." [email protected]

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October 10, 2018


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