New information has been released to the public in the indictments of eight people surrounding an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting.
One bit of information seems to refute former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s repeated claim that he had no knowledge of an alleged payment arranged by Louisville for 5-star recruit Brian Bowen.
The indictment of adidas executive James Gatto, unsealed Wednesday, implicates Pitino slightly more than the original complaint, which was released Sept. 26. However, as Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel points out, the information in Gatto’s indictment is not new to federal prosecutors, who never charged Pitino with any wrongdoing.
The information comes from a July meeting in which runner Christian Dawkins told others in attendance about how Louisville and adidas had paid Bowen. The indictment reads:
“Dawkins explained that while [Pitino] and the University of Louisville were recruiting [Bowen], Dawkins asked [Pitino] to call James Gatto to request that [Adidas] provide the money requested by the family of [Bowen], which [Pitino] agreed to do.”
The new information comes at the end, which suggests that Pitino not only knew about but participated in the scheme to pay Bowen. As Wetzel writes, “It’s a slightly more direct allegation than what was already presented.”
Pitino was placed on administrative leave by Louisville shortly after the allegations fired by Louisville last month. He has steadfastly denied any reports that he knew about the payment of Bowen’s family.
Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, told Louisville radio station WHAS that reports that Pitino was involved in the scheme are “fake news.”
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