Yesterday afternoon, Brian Bowen’s lawer Jason Setchen told the Courier-Journal that the University of Louisville is “free to investigate and can consider reinstatement of Bowen” after federal authorities concluded their investigation. According to the report, the FBI cleared Bowen of “investigative impediments.”
“Brian and I are excited with this development and look forward to working with the university and the NCAA to clarify any concerns or issues that they have in furtherance of Brian’s prompt return to competition,” Setchen said following the news.
So that means Bowen is in the clear and will be suiting up for Louisville this season, right?
Ask some Louisville fans, and you’d think that’s the case.
He should be able to play. The street agents, lying coaches and pliant adminstrators should pay not the poor people.
— dustyj (@dustyj) November 3, 2017
He didn’t break any NCAA rules and you have no proof that he did.
— Mike Petree (@cardpetree) November 2, 2017
Play Brian Bowen!
— Perrin Johnson (@PerrinJohnson) November 2, 2017
you realize that mean he has been exonerated
— John (@JonVoy) November 2, 2017
That means Louisville jumped the gun on the firing of Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino, right?
Bring Jurich back!
— Candra M Bell (@bell_candra) November 2, 2017
The FBI is not the NCAA. Just because Bowen did not personally commit federal crimes does not mean he did not commit NCAA violations. It is not a federal crime to receive money for a commitment to play basketball at a certain school. It is, however, a federal crime to organize a bribery scheme involving multi-billion dollar apparel brands, the reason for the investigation in the first place. They are sitting in prison now as a result.
There’s a reason no arrests have been made at Louisville. That’s not what their involvement in the case was about. This was about tying loose ends with the guys higher up on the totem pole, not one kid receiving cash under the table.
The Cam Newton situation is giving Card Nation false hope. If you recall, Newton’s father asked schools for money, specifically Mississippi State, before ending up at Auburn. After losing out on his commitment, Mississippi State was the whistleblower for the NCAA, sparking a widely-publicized investigation. The NCAA eventually cleared Newton to play college football because he supposedly had no idea anything was going on and his father orchestrated the entire thing.
Bowen’s father received money for his son’s pledge to Louisville, similar to Newton, so Bowen will eventually be cleared by the NCAA, right?
Since then, the NCAA has changed this loophole, saying parents are now just as guilty of violations involving their child. If anyone in your immediate family takes money, the player will be found guilty by the NCAA and punished accordingly.
If you need a refresher, here’s the newest update to the rule: NCAA Broadens Agent Rules To Include Parents, Closes Cam Newton Loophole
Cancels that thought process out real quick.
Even with the closed loophole, the story still makes no sense whatsoever. Bowen had absolutely zero interest in Louisville, and the minute a dollar figure was arranged, he committed. You mean to tell me a five-star athlete had no say in where he ended up at school or how he got there? He had no idea whatsoever and his father made the commitment for him? Yeah, okay.
Regardless, the FBI simply said their investigation of Bowen is over, and the NCAA and Louisville may now conduct their own investigations on the issue without interfering with their own findings. As we were told back when the original indictments were released, the FBI could not care less about whether or not a teenager is eligible to play college basketball. They care about reaching justice for the orchestrators of this mess, and they have been releasing their findings as they see fit. Bowen’s case was just one of countless visited by the FBI, and this news means nothing for Louisville’s massive punishment that is waiting for them in the near future.
Brian Bowen will never play a minute at UofL, and it is highly unlikely he is cleared by the NCAA to play at any school. UofL will very likely miss this year’s NCAA Tournament, and quite possibly several to follow.
Don’t overthink this; it’s still as laughable and embarrassing as it was the moment news broke.
You can read the entire Courier-Journal article on the issue here.