The two class of 2018 prospects committed to Louisville before the revelation of a sprawling FBI investigation implicating the program decided this week to reopen their recruitments. Now another player in that class thought to be keen on joining the Cardinals is looking to spend his college career elsewhere.
Romeo Langford reportedly has removed Louisville from his list of choices. “Due to the current allegations associated with the University of men’s basketball program, a family decision was made that Romeo Langford will no longer be considering U of L in his recruitment,” Langford’s father, Tim, told the Courier-Journal in a text message.
Louisville is one of several schools implicated in an FBI investigation into corruption across college basketball. The school, while not explicitly named in the complaints released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District for New York this week, was allegedly involved in a scheme to funnel $100,000 to the family of a highly-regarded recruit.
Multiple news reports have identified that recruit as Brian Bowen, a 6’7’’ forward from La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., assessed a five-star rating in the class of 2017 who signed with Louisville in June. Bowen is believed to be the player university interim president Greg Postel said had been suspended indefinitely.
Postel said head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have been placed on administrative leave, but Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, told the Courier Journal that his client had been “effectively fired.” Postel said Wednesday the university could name an interim athletic director and coach within 48 hours.
Before the revelation of the investigation this week, many viewed Louisville as a strong contender, if not the outright favorite, to land Langford, the most highly regarded backcourt prospect in the class of 2018. He plays high school basketball in New Albany, Ind., about a 15-minute drive away from Louisville, and grew up a Cardinals fan.
Rated the No. 5 recruit in the class of 2018 by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, a composite that incorporates data from multiple services, Langford is a 6’5’’, 191-pound shooting guard who averaged 28.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a junior at New Albany last season. ESPN this week projected him as a top-10 pick in its 2019 mock draft.
In late August, Scout.com reported Langford had narrowed his list of schools to seven: Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, UCLA, Kansas, Vanderbilt and North Carolina. He reportedly visited Vanderbilt earlier this month and is expected to take trips to the campuses of other programs on his list.
Earlier this week, two highly touted guards in the class of 2018, IMG (Fla.) Academy’s Anfernee Simons and Webster Groves (Mo.) High’s Courney Ramey, rescinded their verbal pledges to Louisville. They were the only players in the class committed to the Cardinals.