Louisville, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Creighton were among schools implicated Thursday in the ongoing NCAA corruption trial.

By Emily Caron
October 04, 2018

Brian Bowen Sr., father of the ex-Louisville commit at the center of the FBI probe into corruption in college basketball, Brian Jr., took the stand to testify Thursday in the ongoing federal fraud trial in New York.

Bowen Sr.'s explosive testimony revealed that several prominent basketball schools, including but not limited to Louisville, had offered him significant sums of money as bribes for his son's commitment to their programs. The offers made to Bowen Sr. for his son, also known as "Tuggs," all violate several NCAA recruiting rules.

In his testimony, Bowen Sr. revealed that Louisville's initial offer was in the $60,000 to $80,000 range but was increased to $100,000 by Adidas executives because it was the amount that Billy Preston had been given to play for Kansas, per Yahoo Sports's Dan Wetzel. 

Preston was held from the Jayhawks lineup after a car accident led to an NCAA investigation into the "financial picture" of the vehicle. Preston left Kansas amid the investigation.

After a crazy recruiting process, Bowen Jr. committed to Louisville, where he was declared ineligible after news of the investigation broke. After transferring to South Carolina and failing to become eligible there, Bowen Jr. left to play basketball overseas. He is currently playing professionally in Australia. Neither Bowen Sr. nor his son were ever charged.

Louisville was just one of many schools recruiting Bowen Jr. and offering his father money in the process. Bowen Sr. said his offers also included bribes from several assistant coaches on teams attempting to land his son. While Bowen Sr.'s direct examination is only halfway complete, a $50,000 offer from ex-Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack, a $150,000 cash offer that also included an additional $8,000 for a car and undisclosed amounts for a house from ex-Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans and a $100,000 offer with a promise of employment from Creighton were already unveiled, per Wetzel.

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Speculation swirled ahead of the trial that Bowen Sr.'s testimony could implicate the University of Oregon, as the Ducks were one of his son's top choices before he committed to Louisville. Bowen Sr. told prosecutors he did not "recall" discussing anything related to Oregon with sports agent Christian Dawkins, a longtime family friend from the Bowen's hometown of Saginaw, Mich. also at the center of the trial. Dawkins was indicted along with Adidas executives James Gatto and Merl Code by the FBI after the widespread corruption was uncovered.

Bowen Sr.'s testimony also included a bribe from Texas, who offered to help Dawkins with housing, per Wetzel, and several revelations of payments made for his son to play AAU basketball prior to college. In addition to receiving a $2,000 monthly payment from then-head coach Shane Heirman for his son to attend La Lumiere high school, Bowen also received a $25,000 payment for Tuggs to play AAU basketball with the Michigan Mustangs one summer. Bowen Sr. said the money came from Dawkins and Adidas' executive Chris Rivers.

He was also paid $5,000-$8,000 to play AAU ball with the Mean Streets Chicago, a Nike sponsored youth team.

Dawkins will continue his testimony Friday.

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