The DePaulia

Text found in court records claims DePaul offered $200,000 to five-star recruit

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Former University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino said he knew DePaul offered to pay prospect Brian Bowen $200,000 to play at DePaul, a violation of NCAA rules, court documents show.

“Coach DePaul [sic] trying to pay Bowen 200 k to come here. Crazy world!” Pitino wrote in a text message to Louisville’s former assistant coach, Kenny Johnson.

Photo courtesy of Western Kentucky District Court | The text message Rick Pitino sent to Kenny Johnson alleging DePaul offered to pay Brian Bowen $200,000 to play at the university.

 

 

Bowen, a 6-foot-7-inch small forward from Saginaw, Michigan, was a five-star recruit for the class of 2017. Earlier that year, DePaul head coach Dave Leitao hired Bowen’s high school coach Shane Heirman as well as his AAU coach Tim Anderson in an apparent attempt to court the prized recruit. Heirman was hired in May 2017 and Anderson was hired in August 2017.

Former DePaul associate head coach Rick Carter wrote on Twitter that Pitino has some “bad info” on the matter.

“I think people might have gotten some bad info and passed it along to their boss,” Carter wrote. “No money was ever offered. We were hiring a staff that all had connections to Bowen. HS Coach, AAU Coach and obviously I had connections to past teams. People shouldn’t believe what they read.”

Pitino and University of Louisville’s athletic director Tom Jurich were fired in September 2017 after it was revealed the school offered payments to Bowen’s family in return for his commitment to the university. Bowen was eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the FBI and remained a student at Louisville.

The revelation that DePaul allegedly offered payments to a prospect comes on the heels of an NCAA investigation into the Athletic Department. The specifics of the investigation is still unknown, although the Chicago Tribune reports it was centered around a former assistant coach and former player.  The NCAA and DePaul both declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.

DePaul was not able to provide a comment by the time of publication. 

This story is still developing and will be updated.

Shane Rene and Andrew Hattersley contributed to this story.

CORRECTION: The headline of this story has been edited for clarity. 

14 Comments

14 Responses to “Text found in court records claims DePaul offered $200,000 to five-star recruit”

  1. ChangeAtDPU on August 2nd, 2018 3:04 pm

    Seriously? Enough is enough, already. It’s time to fire failed Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. #FireJLP

    [Reply]

  2. Nothingburger on August 2nd, 2018 9:00 pm

    It appears that news outlets have quoted Pitino this morning as saying the DePaul reference was a rumor and has no substance.
    The headline of this story (“court records claim” DPU offered a payoff…) seems a bit negligent.

    [Reply]

    Marty Embry Reply:

    It appears that DePaul is guilty until proven innocent. Anytime a rumor surfaces, it gives certain people an opportunity to say, “See, I told you so!”

    I do not believe for a second that DePaul offered a student $200k. Pitino was also negligent in even intimating that DePaul offered a kid money. In my opinion, dirty coaches often think that every coach is dirty. Although he retracted and cleaned his comment up, doubt continues to rear it’s ugly head. He never should have spoken those words, period. It was libelous to do so.

    How to convince me that DePaul did this dirty deed is simple. Show me hard core proof. Until that happens, The DePaulia, please stop pushing a non issue and just report the facts. Pitino needs to openly apologize for even passing a rumor along.

    I realistic, I realize that college basketball has become cut-throat and ruthless. The best way to bring a program down is to just start a rumor. Pitino was going down and DePaul was coming up.

    My apologies for my diatribe. It’s just frustrating for alumni to read this stuff. I understand that you have a job to do though.

    [Reply]

  3. NickT on August 3rd, 2018 11:55 pm

    On the plus side, after 30 years, we’re finally back in the headlines! Way to go Lenti Ponsetto!

    [Reply]

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Text found in court records claims DePaul offered $200,000 to five-star recruit