South Carolina has landed Brian Bowen, the five-star basketball recruit linked to the FBI’s investigation into college basketball and the scandal that brought down Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
USC coach Frank Martin announced on Wednesday that Bowen, a 6-7, 195-pound forward from La Porte, Ind., has enrolled at USC and has joined the Gamecocks.
Bowen signed with Louisville after being heavily recruited by former N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried. Louisville was a late addition to Bowen’s college list. Bowen did not play a game at Louisville.
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Bowen, who signed with Louisville in summer 2017, spent the fall semester enrolled at the school but did not play. Bowen was not mentioned directly in the FBI’s report into an alleged bribery scheme but was later identified as the “unnamed player” that Adidas funneled $100,000 to as the request of a Louisville coach. The FBI alleges that Brian Bowen Sr., Brian Bowen’s father, accepted the money.
Bowen told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in December that he was “shocked” by the allegations.
“I didn’t believe it at all. ... They have to be lying,” he said. “There’s no way I’m involved in it.”
“I don’t know anything about it,” he added.
Based on NCAA transfer rules, Bowen will have to sit for two semesters at South Carolina before being eligible to play.
“Brian is an exceptional young man and a basketball player with a very high IQ for the game,” Martin said. “He brings a high-level skill set to the court and will make an immediate impact on our team with him joining us on the practice courts this week. He is a strong, athletic small forward, who can really shoot the ball and rebound.
“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.”
USC athletics director Ray Tanner said: “What better coach is there to help Brian grow as a student-athlete and more importantly as a young man than Frank Martin and his staff? Over the coming months, we will work diligently with the NCAA through our compliance office to ensure that Brian is eligible for competition.”