LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Louisville freshman Brian Bowen was seen leaving the University of Louisville practice facility on Tuesday, just hours after the FBI announced a national investigation into corruption and fraud targeting recruiting.
In UofL's case, the feds allege that two unnamed Louisville coaches negotiated with Adidas for a recruit to receive $100,000 to commit to UofL, then sign on with Adidas. The timeframe of Bowen's commitment to the school identifies him as that recruit.
“This is the FBI, this is not based on some sort of book, these are the feds,” Bob Valvano with ESPN Radio said.
Valvano told WHAS 11 News he has known Pitino since he was 13 and has been covering UofL on his nationally syndicated radio show for about 20 years.
“This shakes the underpinnings of the whole thing,” he explained. “No matter how much you may have said, ‘well I know some things went on,’ I don't think anybody expected the feds to be handing out indictments today about college basketball and then saying, ‘oh, by the way, it's an on-going investigation, we're not even done with this yet.’”
Valvano told WHAS11 News after his radio show on Tuesday that he could feel Card fans distancing themselves from the basketball program.
“People called our show today very sadly, not with any sense of glee and say 'hey I've been a season ticket holder for 31 years, I'm done.'
What's next for UofL is still unclear, but we asked Valvano if this could mean the most serious of all NCAA punishments, the death penalty. He responded:
“It could be anything, could be the end for Rick Pitino, could be the end for Tom Jurich. I'm not calling for anyone's job here and I'm trying to give an answer but it's difficult, but from NCAA's point of view you're a program that was in trouble and to have to this happen literally less than two months after you just got done pretty much defending yourself, in the other instance, to have this in my opinion more serious allegation happening, that's going to be a hard thing to walk away from.”
The FBI said in a news conference on Tuesday the investigation is on-going and more interviews are being conducted.