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#pounditSaturday, September 25, 2021

Mother of Louisville commit Brian Bowen ‘had no idea’ about alleged payments

Rick Pitino

The mother of a five-star recruit who committed to Louisville back in June says she has no knowledge of any payments that were allegedly made to her family or her son.

According to federal indictments released on Tuesday, four NCAA basketball coaches are among the 10 people who were arrested for their alleged involvement in a fraud scandal involving a top executive at Adidas. While Louisville is not specifically named in the documents, there is mention of a school — referred to as “University-6” — that matches the description of Louisville. Investigators allege that a player identified as “Player-10” committed to University-6 on June 3, 2017, which is when five-star recruit Brian Bowen announced his commitment to the Cardinals.

The investigation claims an Adidas executive conspired to pay $100,000 to the family of a top recruit to convince the player to commit to Louisville and to represent Adidas when he turned pro. If the allegations are, in fact, referring to Bowen, his mother Carrie Malecke says she has no knowledge of any wrongdoing.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Malecke told The Courier-Journal. “I don’t know anything about that. I’m not aware of anything like that. Not me. I had no idea.”

Interestingly enough, Louisville coach Rick Pitino indicated in an interview with WHAS-840 Radio’s Terry Meiners back in June that Bowen’s commitment essentially fell into his lap.

“We got lucky on this one,” Pitino said. “I had an AAU director call me and ask me if I’d be interested in a player. I saw him against another great player from Indiana. I said ‘Yeah, I’d be really interested.’ They had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotel, pay for their meals. We spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I saw him play. In my 40 years of coaching this is the luckiest I’ve been.”

A second recruit, identified as “Player-11” is said to have been paid in exchange for his commitment to Louisville for the Class of 2019.

Louisville confirmed that it is involved in the investigation and will fully cooperate with authorities, though none of the four assistant coaches who were arrested are Louisville employees.

Any evidence of wrongdoing is bad news for Louisville, as the school is already dealing with sanctions from a prostitution scandal involving recruits. If the school is found to have been involved in a fraud scheme, the penalties could be devastating.

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