Former Louisville and South Carolina player Brian Bowen II has sued Adidas and several associates caught up in the college basketball corruption scandal alleging federal racketeering violations that cost him the chance to develop his game.
Bowen’s lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Carolina. It has asked for unspecified damages and says Bowen and other players targeted by Adidas’ “criminal racketing enterprise” were denied the chance to grow their talents in college on the way to becoming professionals.
“Adidas has thus far infiltrated college basketball with complete impunity. It is now time for them to answer for what they have done and to suffer the consequences of their corporate misconduct,” attorney Mullin McLeod said.
Adidas did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The suit also names Adidas associates James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Munish Sood, Thomas Gassnola and Christopher Rivers. Gatto, Code and Dawkins were found guilty last month in a federal trial.
Sood and Gassnola were witnesses at the trial after pleading guilty.
Bowen’s attorney Mullins McLeod said Adidas should answer for their misconduct. The company “has thus far infiltrated college basketball with complete impunity,” he said.
It was alleged the scheme involved giving Bowen’s father $100,000 to have his son play for Louisville.
The younger Bowen enrolled at Louisville in the fall of 2017, but never played a game. He transferred to South Carolina for the spring semester and left in May when it became apparent the NCAA would keep him from playing for longer than Bowen hoped.
Bowen took part in the NBA’s Draft Combine last spring and is playing professionally in Australia.
He has denied any wrongdoing and knowledge of his father’s plans.
“I have always felt that Brian was the true victim of everything that transpired with Adidas,” said attorney Jason A. Setchen, who represented Bowen II in his NCAA case.
By PETE IACOBELLI
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