The father of ex-Louisville commit Brian Bowen Jr. was on the stand Tuesday in the trial concerning NCAA corruption.

By Khadrice Rollins
October 09, 2018

Brian Bowen Sr., the father of former Louisville recruit Brian "Tugs" Bowen Jr., was on the stand Tuesday in the federal trial concerning corruption and fraud in the NCAA.

During his questioning, Bowen said he never told his son or his son's mother about money he received under the table from Adidas and Louisville, according to multiple reports.

"I wouldn't want him to be involved in something that's wrong," Bowen Sr. said about his decision not to tell his son about the payments, according to Pete Brush of Law360.

However, he also reportedly testified that former Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson paid him $1,300 cash to help pay rent after the family moved to Louisville.

Bowen Sr. said he met Johnson at the Galt House in downtown Louisville where he was staying after the two arranged a meeting in June 2017. Johnson, who is now an assistant at La Salle, was "flabbergasted" when Bowen Sr. first asked for the money, Bowen Sr. told the jury. But, Johnson eventually agreed to make a one-time payment.

Bowen Sr. also testified that he talked with Christian Dawkins on or around June 23 about Johnson providing rent money, and added he spoke with Johnson about the payment after talking with Dawkins, and that is when Johnson initially declined to make the payment. If it is confirmed a payment occurred after June 15, 2017, it would have taken place while Louisville was on probation for the scandal involving escorts being used on recruiting trips.

Also during his testimony, Bowen Sr. said he did not discuss receiving money from Adidas with anyone on Louisville's staff, and added that he had a secret "bat phone" he used to talk about those matters.

In addition to the payments concerning Louisville, Bowen Sr. also testified on Tuesday about money he received from AAU teams and a high school program along with offers from Creighton, Oklahoma State, Texas and Arizona that Dawkins had informed him of. Bowen Sr. said Dawkins told him an unnamed Creighton coach was offering $100,000 and "high-paying jobs" to get Bowen Jr., while Oklahoma State was willing to pay $150,000 and provide an $80,000 car and housing.

When questioned about receiving $3,000 from Oregon assistant coach Tony Stubblefield, Bowen Sr. said he couldn't recall. He was then shown previous statements he made to the FBI, but still said he couldn't recall the payment. He also said he didn't recall hearing Texas was willing to provide free housing to his family if Bowen Jr. went there.

When it comes to the payments from AAU programs, Bowen Sr. said he got $5,000 from former NFL player Tai Streets and $1,500 from then-Mean Streets coach Tim Anderson. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports notes Streets is considered a representative of Michigan because he played college football there, so even though the payment was for an AAU team, it could have impact on the Wolverines. Bowen Sr. also testified he couldn't recall talking with Anderson, who is now an assistant at DePaul, about an offer for Bowen Jr. to play at UCLA.

Last week, testimony from Bowen Sr. 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 lawyer for former Adidas executive Jim Gatto said at the trial that evidence would prove that Oregon offered "an astronomical amount of money" to Bowen's family.

Bowen Sr. is testifying in exchange for immunity as the government looks to convict Dawkins, Gatto and former Adidas employee Merl Code of defrauding universities by paying players without the school's knowledge.

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