Former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen has sued sportswear company Adidas, alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Six others, James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Munish Sood, Thomas Gassnola and Christopher Rivers, were also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Each of those individuals were part of the FBI's recent corruption investigation into college basketball.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in South Carolina and is seeking unspecified damages.
The McLeod Law Group, which is represeting Bowen, accuses Adidas of "spearheading" a criminal racketeering enterprise in order to influence big time high school recruits to sign with schools under contract with Adidas.
“Adidas has thus far infiltrated college basketball with complete impunity," the firm's statement said. "It is now time for them to answer for what they have done and to suffer the consequences of their corporate misconduct. Brian is an exceptional young man who is determined to right this wrong and to do his part to help free other student athletes from corporate corruption that has no place in college basketball.”
The law firm says the pursue of the lawsuit is to hold Adidas and "its criminal co-conspirators liable for the harm they have wrought on the life and career of Brian Bowen II."
Gatto, Code and Dawkins were found guilty last month of conspiring to defraud universities by funneling illicit payments to the families of high-school and college basketball players and concealing those payments and are set to be sentenced on March 5.
Bowen, a former McDonald’s All-American, was ruled ineligible to play after authorities started to look into alleged payments to his father. Brian Bowen, Sr. admitted to receiving money from different people, who tried to get his son to play for different high school and college teams.
Bowen is currently playing for the Sydney Kings of the Australia’s National Basketball League.