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The FBI concludes investigation of Brian Bowen, Louisville fans think he’s in the clear. He’s not.

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.


That means Louisville jumped the gun on the firing of Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino, right?


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.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

12 responses to “The FBI concludes investigation of Brian Bowen, Louisville fans think he’s in the clear. He’s not.”

  1. nicky

    Here’s to hoping Jack’s steadfast convictions about this hold true

    1. timbo

      Dude… It’s common sense. The FBI investigates Federal crimes on behalf of the executive branch of the United States Gov. They care about federal statutes, CFRs, laws, not basketball. All they’re saying is they have no evidence of money laundering, conspiracy, bribery, intrastate transfer of drugs/guns, terrorism, hate crimes, etc. Get it? They still negotiated and accepted several thousand dollars for his commitment. Minus the factors I described (or others), that’s not a federal crime. It’s still against NCAA rules.

  2. Realme

    Well said, Jack. All this “news” means is that the NCAA investigation of Louisville’s most recent cheating scandal can begin in earnest.

  3. shepdog3720

    If Bowen was unaware and not involved in all this sphincter dust, he should be allowed to play. Unfortunately for him, he isn’t enrolled at UNC….

    1. david8577

      He’s involved. His parent took payments from an agent on his behalf. His amateur status is as gone as Rick, Tom, and UofL’s reputation.

    2. J-Dub421

      U of L did not recruit Bowen at all. He committed to U of L pretty much out of the blue.

      Remember Pitino’s quotes about getting Bown? “But they had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotels, pay for their meals. So we spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I saw him play. In my 40-some-odd years of coaching, this is the luckiest I’ve been.” – Rick Pitino

  4. Optional Facts

    Even without Bowen UofL still could have enough firepower for one last run… assuming the NCAA doesn’t crush them before hand. Assuming they are out of the tourney this year is a little quick to say.

  5. Catcasey1

    Well said 8577

  6. KTR2786

    Plus, I’m fairly certain that hair is a federal crime and if not, it should be.

  7. UKinIN

    All this means is that the FBI is finished with U of L as the case relates to the Adidas rep that they arrested. It clears U of L of nothing related to NCAA rules. The FBI does not care that U of L had set up payments to a recruit by Adidas. The FBI arrested the people they were after. Now U of L is only guilty of repeatedly violating NCAA rules.

    1. MegatonRange

      Let’s not forget, this is still the same FBI that couldn’t decide if Hillary Clinton was aware she was breaking the law, or just astoundingly stupid.

  8. Catlogic15

    Good clarification. However, Louisville will easily be in the March Madness field.