The FBI has given Louisville the green light to begin its own investigation into the eligibility of freshman guard Brian Bowen now that there are no “investigative impediments” regarding him from the federal government’s investigation into corruption in college basketball, according the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Bowen, a five-star guard, has been at the center of Louisville’s corner of the scandal rocking college basketball as allegations regarding his recruitment ultimately led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich. An adidas company executive is alleged to have been part of a scheme to deliver $100,000 to Bowen’s family, according to court documents.
The FBI had initially asked school ensnared in the federal investigation to hold off making their own inquiries until its investigation completed. Louisville will now have to determine whether or not it believes Bowen is eligible under NCAA rules if he is to play for the Cardinals.
“Brian and I are excited with this development and look forward to working with the university and the NCAA to clarify any concerns or issues that they have in furtherance of Brian’s prompt return to competition,” Jason Setchen, Bowen’s attorney, told the Courier-Journal.
One possibility is that Louisville will take the same step Auburn, who had an assistant coach arrested as part of the FBI’s probe, took, sitting Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy indefinitely while it tries to sort through the situation.
Bowen’s eligibility and availability will be of immense importance to Louisville, which despite losing Pitino, still has a roster loaded with talent and championship aspirations that undoubtedly would be bolstered by adding a 6-foot-7 McDonald’s All-American forward.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” interim Cardinals coach David Padgett said at the team’s media day. “We have to let that situation work itself out.”