Louisville announced Wednesday morning that it has ruled five-star freshman Brian Bowen ineligible and terminated the contract of assistant coach Kenny Johnson. Both developments are the result of the ongoing federal investigation that's rocked college basketball and led to the indictments of eight men, including four assistant coaches at Power 5 programs.
The federal complaint alleges that Adidas, in cooperation with Louisville coaches, agreed to pay Bowen's family $100,000 in exchange for his enrollment at the ACC school. Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has denied any knowledge of the deal. But Louisville still fired the two-time national champion last month. David Padgett is now running the program on an interim basis.
"Brian has been a responsible young man for the institution since he enrolled," said Louisville interim athletic director Vince Tyra. "He has endeared himself to his teammates and the men's basketball staff with a positive attitude during a very difficult period."
Neither development is surprising.
Johnson was placed on administrative leave last month, at which point it became clear he'd never coach at Louisville again. And regardless of whether Bowen was or was not aware of the financial deal that allegedly led to his enrollment, the reality is that federal agents believe Louisville committed major rules violations to secure his commitment. That alone always made it difficult to imagine him ever playing for the Cardinals, and it also makes it unlikely the NCAA will make Bowen eligible to play elsewhere if he transfers.